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We Failed To Recognize Him

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

Scriptural Readings: Acts 5:27-33; Psalm 34:2, 9, 17-18, 19-20; John 3:31-36

My dear encountered couples:

How could people live in intimate association with a person for a period of time, and yet not recognize him? In yesterday's Gospel, two disciples who spent nearly the whole afternoon with Jesus on the road to Emmaus didn't recognize him.

After they do, they quickly return to Jerusalem to tell the rest of the disciples how they met Jesus. Everyone is excited and suddenly Jesus is standing in their midst.

Dom Helder Camara tells a true story about a priest in his diocese, who was meditating on how the disciples did not recognize Jesus. The priest could not see how this actually could have happened. While he was meditating on this, there was a knock on the door. A poor parishioner, a very disturbed personality, needed someone to talk to.

The priest didn't want to interrupt his prayer, so he asked the man to return later. He even gave the man more money than he normally gave him. The man left. It dawned on the priest suddenly that he had done exactly what the disciples had done. “Christ knocked on my door,” he realized. “I saw him, I heard him, I talked to him, yet I failed to recognize him.

The radiant Risen Christ, vibrant, alive, reveals himself in us as we look with compassion on those who love and need us. Christ is among us in our family and friends who need our love. Christ is among us in the needy and the poor, challenging us to look upon them with compassion, to reach out to them as he did, with concern and care.


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