These last three years we have been true wayfarers along with Jesus, the Wayfarer. A wayfarer is someone who has traveled, journeyed. We have all definitely done that in the last three years by literally moving from Esopus to West Park to Beacon and three sisters to assisted living at Meadowview, and then to Lourdes. Now recently, Sr. Mary made her final journey to heaven. Communally, we wayfared by way of transitioning, regressing, accepting and continually growing into our new reality.
When I look at this picture of the Wayfarer, I see it as Jesus welcoming each of us with open arms. Jesus is ever ready to shepherd and guide us, protect and bless us. To me it looks like he is about to place his hands around my shoulder, and on the shoulder of whoever is on the other side: you, you, you…each one of you. That made me think of a yoke; as in Jesus saying, ‘Come to me all who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest, take up my yoke and learn for me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.’ Mt. 11:28
On reflecting on the image of the yoke (a curved piece of wood that fits over the shoulders of two draft animals so they can work together) I thought that is what Jesus is like: He is the yoke that holds us together and guides our lives in a gentle manner; not by force but by love and an invitation to journey with him.
This invitation to journey with the Wayfarer didn’t intimidate our Foundress, Ven. Maria Celeste Crostarosa. We know this aspect of Jesus as Wayfarer inspired Celeste to give her all and follow the one she loved throughout her life.
In our day, Jesus the Wayfarer travels the road of life with us. United by love, our love for God, our Redemptoristine life and each other, we journey together with Jesus regardless of our human differences that occasionally trip us up. Strengthened by the grace-filled yoke of Jesus we rise to be our better selves and continue our journey sure in the knowledge that the Wayfarer will always be by our side.