Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 8-9, 2020
A few years ago I was having more and more difficulty reading road signs, sports scores on the television and words on the written page. My vision had deteriorated so much that I could no longer drive at night. Upon an eye examination I was diagnosed with severe cataracts on both eyes.
Within weeks I had surgery to remove them, and I received implants. Suddenly, I could see better than I had seen in years. The yellow tint I had been seeing through was removed from my vision and was replaced with ‘crystal’ clearness that left me awestruck. It was as if I was seeing things anew. I felt like Dorothy opening her ‘black and white’ door to the multicolored World of Oz!
Throughout the Easter Season we have listened to Gospel readings of apostles and disciples not recognizing and then recognizing the risen Lord. From Mary Magdalene in the garden, to the apostles in the upper room, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus it’s only when they view Jesus with enlightened eyes that they recognize Him. It is the revealed Christ, once received, who brings peace and joy to the recipient.
This revelation also moved the person to action. Mary ran to the apostles to announce the Resurrection. The two disciples journeying to Emmaus returned to Jerusalem to share their experience with Christ’s followers. We even hear of Peter leaping from the fishing boat into the Sea of Galilee when he realizes Jesus is on the shore.
Before He ascended to heaven the Lord commissioned His disciples to spread the Gospel to the whole world. Beginning on Pentecost they began their mission. The disciples discovered that the key to success was recognizing Jesus in others and living a life so that others recognize Jesus in us.
It is the same command and challenge as Catholic Christians that confronts us today. Do we recognize Christ in our world, community, and family? Do we search for Jesus in the extraordinary and miss Him in the ordinary? Do we strain so hard to see the spectacular signs from God that we are blinded to His daily revelations to us?
We have the same issue with being Christ-like. How often do we attend mass, only to be in an argument before we leave the church parking lot? Are we kinder and more forgiving to strangers than we are to our family and friends? Yet we know that we spread the Gospel as much with our actions as our words.
Let us seek Christ in others and ourselves with our hearts not our eyes. Let us slow down enough to see all the wonder that surrounds us. If we do both, our vision will enable us to see our Risen Lord like His disciples in the days and weeks following the Resurrection. Let us see and be Jesus.
Patrick J. Perkins