Do you recognise Jesus?

Fr Antonio Pineda
Assistant Parish Priest

Since the lockdown began, many of us have had to find other ways of being with our loved ones because we cannot be with them physically. Technology has proven to be a godsend. Even those who think of themselves as “technophobes” have managed to learn how to use the likes of Zoom and Skype to see and talk to friends and relatives. Some have even managed to think of innovative games to play with their families on social media to keep that family bonding intact. There is that innate desire for all of us to see the people we love in whatever way possible. Just to see them smile is often enough to make us forget about the pandemic.

But I wonder … do you exert the same amount of effort for people who are closer to home? Sometimes, we are so focused on people who are geographically far away from us that we neglect the people who are physically with us. They could be your flatmate or next-door neighbour. Do you know what they are going through? How are they coping with the lockdown? Are they looking after themselves by going out for a walk every day? I thought about this when I read the Gospel for this Sunday. Two disciples were walking with Jesus and yet they did not recognise him. They had a conversation with Jesus and yet neither realised that it was the Lord they were talking to. The two disciples were so preoccupied with their false belief (that Jesus had failed as the Messiah when he died on the cross) to see the truth that was right there in front of them (the Risen Christ).

We fall into the same trap when we don’t make ourselves available to the people around us. We fail to recognise the Lord when we fail to reach out to our neighbours. Our Christian calling is to see the face of Jesus in everyone, for everyone has been created in the image of God. The Scriptures tell us that what we do for the least of our brethren we do for the Lord, but how can we even begin to think of doing anything if we do not recognise them as our brothers or sisters in the first place? This Sunday, let us go on the road to Emmaus and let us see the face of Jesus on everyone that we meet.

Image from a tapestry designed by Raphael in the Vatican Museum’s Galleria degli Arazzi.