During these days of Easter week, the Gospels recount the early appearance accounts of the Risen Lord to his disciples. What is common to many of them is the fact that these disciples could not recognize the Lord’s presence, even when he was standing in front of them. They overcame their “blindness” only when the Lord made the outreach first, allowing them to recognize His presence.
The inability of the earliest disciples to recognize the Lord’s presence was caused in part by their own self-absorption. They were consumed by their own concerns and feelings, whether that was grief on the part of Mary Magdalene, or confusion and disappointment as was true for the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. One could describe them as being “stuck” within their own worlds, rendering them unable to see outside of themselves and to welcome the presence of Christ as He truly is.
We should not judge these disciples since we are all, at one time or another, guilty of missing the Lord, whose presence is often staring us in the face. We become so absorbed in the busy pace of our lives, our own troubles and challenges, or set in our own opinions and desires that we become blind. At such times, we must pray to become “unstuck” and to learn to see beyond our own noses. We must stop, look and listen for the signs of the Lord’s presence. For if we can learn to do this each day, what we will recognize is that the Lord is present before us all the while.
Bishop Frank Caggiano