Last Sunday’s Gospel, the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, stuck with me all week. My thoughts returned again and again not to the later moment when the disciples recognized Jesus, but to the moment He first walked up to them and heard them talking. I kept wondering, “If Jesus walked up behind me and overheard my conversation, what would He hear?”

It would be wonderful if He caught me having a profound discussion of theology with an equally passionate friend; I am blessed to have those discussions and to have those friends. It’d also be terrific if He overheard me counting my blessings, because I have those conversations, too. Occasionally.

But, if I’m honest about probability and statistics, He’d no doubt hear me fretting about deadlines, grousing about colleagues, and agonizing over culture and politics. There’s not a whole lot of love in those chats. But there should be.

It’s easy to forget that Jesus overhears every conversation we have. And He longs to be part of each one. When we truly let Him into our conversations, they change. We stop gossiping about people and start talking about how to help them. We stop complaining about problems and start discussing how to fix them. We stop being angry and defensive and become positive and collaborative. Criticism becomes construction, disdain gives way to compassion, and exclusion turns into inclusion. Our words and our actions flow from a place of love – His love, shining through us.

As we walk the road of life together, let us remember to fill our words – and hearts – with that love. Jesus is walking right behind us, listening and waiting for the moment to join our conversations and our lives. Let’s turn around and invite Him in. Let’s urge Him to stay, so our hearts may burn within us with His power and love.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-2