|Posted on April 27, 2020 at 7:20 AM|
While pondering the gospels since Easter Sunday, I decided to place myself into the scenes. What would I have seen or felt if I had been there? I would have probably been scared, wondering, and unsure about what was going to happen next. I may have played over in my mind various scenes from the previous three years, trying to recall exactly what Jesus said in all those huge gatherings with the crowds and in the intimate gathering with just the disciples, and how that all fit in with His death.
And I wonder – If I had been Mary Magdalene on that Easter morning, in shock that the body of my Lord was missing but not yet understanding, I’m sure I would have failed to recognize Jesus right away. Or had I been one of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, I can envision myself being so confused and grief-stricken that I would not have recognized Jesus during that walk. And if I had been locked in that Upper Room wondering what was going to happen, I surely would have been startled when Jesus appeared.
It was only when Jesus plainly showed himself to the Magdalene, to the disciples on the road and to the Apostles huddled in the Upper Room that they recognized Jesus. But once they did recognize Him, what joy they had! These people were forever changed by that encounter with Jesus, by the recognition that He truly was risen and was with them once again!
I don’t have the privilege of being one of those disciples who were able to see Jesus in the flesh after He rose. I am separated from them by two thousand years, trying to keep my faith alive in an era where I cannot even attend mass! How easy is it for me to fail to recognize Jesus, especially when I am preoccupied with the virus and my own life, and some days it seems I feel only fear. We live in difficult times.
What I have learned, though, is that despite the world’s situation I must continue to be proactive with my faith. I need to use every resource available to be able to recognize Jesus. And boy, do I have the resources! In addition to the many Christian books I own or can borrow, there are many in-depth bible studies and commentaries available on the internet and through my church. Even though I cannot attend mass in person, my church and others live-stream masses daily and many of these services can be accessed via video at a later time. I also am blessed to have several trusted people in my life that I can call on if I have a question about the meaning of a biblical passage or a tenet of my faith.
I also know that it is crucial for me to set regular times during the week when I will attend to my daily prayer and studies. I can’t just wait “until I have time” – things will invariably get in the way. When I choose to watch movies when I need a break, now I often select those with religious themes. There are many excellent ones out there! I need these regular times when I purposely seek out Jesus to get to know Him better. This helps me to be able to recognize Him quicker!
How is your recognition of Jesus? Do you know Him well? If not, perhaps you could take a little time this week to chat with Him for a while or read something about Him to strengthen that bond between the two of you. Spending time with Him will enable you to recognize where Jesus is in your life. This could be just the blessing you need to perk up your week!
Have a blessed Monday!
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