“But something prevented them from recognising him.”
This line struck a chord with me this year…It is comforting to know that two of the “disciples”, amongst the many people who had witnessed “the things that have been happening there these last few days”, could not recognise Jesus. In a sense, we should not be surprised. Till that day, no one in the world had experience of dealing with a resurrected person. So, let us not be too harsh with them; nor perhaps with ourselves or with our friends who do not share the fullness of faith.
What it does raise, and particularly in this period of lockdown when many people of all faiths are unable to gather for community worship, is whose responsibility is it to “start with Moses and going through all the prophets he explained to them the passages thought the scriptures that were about himself”.
Some time ago, way back in the early sixties, the Vatican Council called the leaders of the Church to work and change existing structures to enable the people to become “full, active and conscious participants” in the action of the Liturgy. Many saw that statement more broadly. That cry has been taken up in all sections of the Catholic world but has been resisted by some powerful embedded powerbrokers within the Corpus Christi.
The current shutdown of gathering and worship-related spaces with the blossoming of online and virtual services is highlighting the question of what to do when the officials can’t be present or are not permitted to be present.
The headline in the Australian today has a message for us…”on this DIY day of remembrance.” It implies that DIY is not completely satisfactory, nor should it be permanent.
What will emerge in the future is anybody’s guess. The disciples on their road journey discovered that they had responsibility to discover what had really happened in Jerusalem and that they had to tell others about the Good News. They also had to understand their duty to break bread with others in remembrance of Him with, or without, the Temple.
And all this is our challenge today as it was for the early and subsequent eras of the Church. But we do it so that we today can continue in the words of Peter, “Through him you now have faith in God who raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory for that very reason – so that you would have faith and hope in God.”