Author: Yvonne Hymel
Our youngest daughter decided early on that birthdays are too special to celebrate just one day of the year. Consequently, she insisted on at least a week of recognition. The Church seems to take the same approach so that major feasts are celebrated for at least an octave – eight days of remembrance and the most important event of human history, the resurrection of Jesus is commemorated for six weeks.
I love the readings of this liturgical period, the post-resurrection stories that tell of the fear, confusion, and exultant joy of seeing Jesus risen from the dead! One of the first things I notice about a number of these accounts is that the risen Jesus is initially unrecognized even by those closest to him. Mary of Magdala thought him the gardener until he called her name, “Mary.” The disciples on their way to Emmaus spoke with him for an extended period and while they felt an unexplained presence, “hearts burnin,” they only recognized him “in the breaking of the bread.”
This has made me reflect upon how it is that while I believe fully that Christ lives in others, I often have trouble seeing him. If I’m honest, I’m quick to blame the other, especially ones with whom I disagree or avoid. Yet, is the plank in my own eye, making my vision impaired by my judgement? May I be less like Thomas who demands proof that Christ lives in this person before me and pray Bartimaeus’ desire, “Lord, I want to see.” Once his sight was restored, Bartimaeus followed Jesus to Jerusalem. That’s the true discipleship I seek.