by Rev. Fr. Dominic Afrifa Yamoah
St. Peter Catholic Church, Agona.
Konongo Mampong diocese, Ashanti Region
Never before are we in need of God because oppression in this world and difficulties because of economic hardship. It is in light that we have to invite Jesus to come and stay with us.
According to long man dictionary of contemporary English, ‘stay’ is defined as ‘to remain in a place rather than to leave’. ‘With’ is an English preposition used to say that two or more people or things are together at the same place. ‘Us’ is an English pronoun used by the person speaking or written to refer to himself or herself and one or more people. ‘Lord’ is from the Latin word ‘dominus’ which means master – somebody to be obeyed. It concerns God or Jesus Christ in our context here so when we pray we say My lord and my God or our master and lord Jesus Christ.
‘Stay with us lord’ as the theme for my reflection in the coming three months was first used by the two disciples of Jesus who were traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus after Jesus’ resurrection. These two people were walking toward sunset, Emmaus lies the western part of Jerusalem, so the sun was sinking and the setting sun dazzled their eyes that they could not see somebody they had known, eaten with listened to and stayed with for a long time. It must be noted that as Christians we must not walk toward the sunset during this three months as we prepare to enter the advent season, but our lives must face the sun, since darkness cannot stay with the sun and we are the sons of light. Long ago, it was said to the children of Israel that they should journey towards the sun rising. Numbers 21:11.
Stay with us came from two disappointed disciples of Jesus from their own accord. Jesus did not press on them to stay, he wanted to leave. Luke 24:28. This is a mark of God’s character among us he will never force us to call on Him or depend on Him. God can do all things but one thing that He will not do and don’t want to do is to touch our will. He has given us our free will. The moment God will force us to do something we cease to be human beings. Jesus knew they would need him despite all that he had told them on the way, but he wanted to leave them till they invited him in. He knows your plight, he knows our situation but he calls on us to pray to him Matt. 7:7. He always gives us the chance to make our own choices.
They received a lot of explanation to what they didn’t understand that seemed disappointment to them but the good thing about them was that they still felt the need to be with him and know more. So till we reach heaven we still need God in our lives no matter who we are.
That statement ‘stay with us Lord’ must and should be on our lips at all times inviting God to live among us because there is nothing like spiritual satisfaction while we live on earth here.
Now we turn to what came out of the invitation to Jesus to stay with them. First of all ‘He got to table with them and served them. In our various cultures we are to serve our visitors they don’t serve us but here is the case where by Jesus serves his host. … He took bread gave thanks, broke it and began to give to them Luke 24:28. Whenever we invite God into our lives he comes to serve us we don’t serve Him.
Secondly, … Then their eyes were opened and recognized Him. Even when they had not recognized Him, he fed them how much more you who can recognize him. We receive abundant grace when we call Him as we know him.
Thirdly, …Jesus disappears from their eyes… Yes he disappeared because after we have eaten his body and drunk his blood he does not stand apart from us but becomes part of us. Like fufu from cassava and cocoyam once it’s missed you cannot separate again. He was part of them.
They might not have understood fully what they were asking for when they said stay with us. They were actually calling his name EMMANUEL and so he stayed with them.
They could not make Jesus out because of their sorrow. We sometimes allow certain things to take away our joy and happiness we must invite Jesus to come and stay with us so that we can have our peace and joy.
Peace unto all who read this book.