Let’s Be on the Lookout for Jesus!
Many of the Gospel readings that tell the Easter Story remind us that whatever we think we know about Jesus – what he looked like, how he acted, what he said, who he hung out with . . . these things haven’t taught us how to recognize Christ. And before we object to this or criticize ourselves too harshly, as we know, his closest followers didn’t recognize him either.
The angels asked his followers, why they were seeking the living among the dead. Mary Magdalene mistook him for a gardener. Two travelers on the road to Emmaus, walked, talked, and broke bread with him, and didn’t know who he was until he was gone and they had some time to reflect back on their experience. When his frustrated and confused followers assuaged their topsy-turvy feelings by going fishing, it took a miracle of an extraordinary catch of fish for them to recognize him. And we all remember poor Thomas, and how Jesus had to prove himself by showing his wounds to him.
Don’t we remember the words Jesus told everyone on the Sermon on the Mount, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry . . . thirsty . . . a stranger . . . naked . . . sick or in prison? (Matt.25:37-39 NRSV)
Yes, we are often slow to learn, and fortunately we are given numerous opportunities to see, to hear and to learn again that Christ is before us in every person we meet. So isn’t it wonderful that we celebrate the Resurrection every year, and remember at every liturgy that Christ is alive among us here and now? We don’t say, “Christ has risen.” We say, Christ IS risen.”
Maybe this Easter season we can share our Jesus sightings with one another, and encourage each other to be on the look out everyday – even beyond Easter!
Pat Farrell, OP