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We need people who are not afraid to talk about their Catholic faith in the workplace, social groups or community. And if people are interested, we need to have courage to say, “Why not come along to Mass, prayer group or a parish event with me?” We need the courage to go beyond just saying “I’ll pray for you” and say, “How about we pray about this now?”
The Emmaus account [Lk 24:13-35] is a metaphor for our celebration of the Mass; it is the journey we celebrate each time we come to the Eucharist.
Consider the story again in terms of the Sunday Mass…
“Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets!
When Jesus approached the two disciples walking to Emmaus, he said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’
Before Jesus spoke, he listened.
How are we present to our people? When we meet someone we make an impression. So how do people see us as Catholics? As parishioners? As religious, deacons or priests? As teachers in a Catholic School? As a parish or school secretary? Are we seen as people who go, who are happy to be with people, and who have a radiance of faith; or are we officials that do a job whom people come to when they need something from the Church?
Understanding how people see us, encourages us to be better images of Christ.
Understanding why people leave the Church/our parish helps us understand something of their spiritual journey and our own journey.
Understanding the challenges of the spiritual journey leads us to reflect on what we are doing/failing to do as a parish/priest/parishioner and what we might do better or differently.