Christians ought to remember Jesus more often

Christians ought to remember Jesus more often: we must quote his words, speak about his life style and his project. We must open the eyes of faith and make it alive in our Eucharistic celebrations. Nobody else should take away such presence.

The narrative about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus tells us the experience lived by them as they walked from Jerusalem to this village, some eight kilometres away from the capital. The reading helps us to relive our faith in the Risen Lord. Those two disciples of Jesus left Jerusalem and parted company with the rest of the disciples who had always been with Jesus. After Jesus’ death, the group began to break down. Without Jesus, there was no sense in staying together. Their dream simply vanished. With Jesus’ death, the hope that had been awakened in their hearts died, too. Aren’t some of our Christian communities experiencing the same thing? Aren’t we allowing our faith in Jesus to die a similar death?

These two disciples, however, keep talking about Jesus. They really can’t forget him. They just talk about everything that has been going on. They keep trying to many some sense out of everything that has taken place while they were with Him. “As they talked things over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side.” That was the first gesture of the Risen One. The disciples could not recognize him, but Jesus kept walking along with them. Isn’t Jesus today walking along so many of us believers who might have left the Church, but still remember Him, and don’t recognize his presence?

The intention of the evangelist is evident: Jesus comes back to them when they start remembering and talking about him. He becomes present wherever his gospel is talked about and there is interest in his message, as well as when people are interested in his preaching and project. Perhaps, Jesus is so often absent from us today because we hardly ever remember or talk about him. Jesus, in the narrative, is very keen on talking with them: “What matters are you discussing as you walk along?” He is not keen on identifying himself to get their attention. He just wants to know what interests and worries them. As they keep talking to him, their concerns will be cleared. Their eyes will be opened as he guides them to reconsider their own stories. It is the same with us today. If, within the Church, we start talking more about Jesus and address ourselves to him personally, our faith will be revived.

The two disciples talk to Jesus about their hopes and disappointments; Jesus helps them to deepen their knowledge of the Crucified Messiah. The disciples’ hearts begin to burn; they feel the need for this stranger to spend the night with them. As they celebrate the Eucharistic meal, their eyes are opened and they recognize him: Jesus was in front of them!

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