There are lots of possible reasons that will prevent us from recognizing the Lord in our midst: lack of faith, indifference, pride and arrogance, conceit, etc. We can be in the middle of the Holy Mass, a prayer worship, a sacred activity and yet our minds aren’t tuned to God’s presence. Even when He’s near, we can lose the opportunity to feel Jesus’ presence with our lack of understanding and trust.
In the Gospel (Lk. 24: 13-35), two of Jesus’ disciples failed to recognize him, even as they were walking with him on the road to Emmaus. Their eyes “were prevented from recognizing Him.”They were in a way dazed, confused and couldn’t understand why the latest events in Jerusalem have come to pass. They couldn’t see the beauty of what’s happening and haven’t really moved on from the experience. Then Jesus tries to explain what happened,
“Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.”
At the end of their journey and after the blessing and breaking of bread, the two disciples out of their openness to Christ’s action in their lives, were given the unique gift of Understanding. They suddenly gained insight and realization of the Scriptures and the Kingdom of Heaven,
“With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
It’s really difficult to make sense of what’s happening without the Gift of Understanding, as we are left on our own to figure it out. This is especially true when we are faced with suffering and intense challenges, just like what’s happening now in this pandemic. We can be like the others who ask, “Why is it that an all-powerful and all-loving God can allow those who are good, the poor, and the suffering undergo this kind of suffering? Where is God now?”
God is truly here, as He has promised to be with us. He is Emmanuel! He is in control of everything that’s happening. What we need is to trust His Word. In the devotion to the Holy Spirit, it is written that the gift of Understanding
“…helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion, by faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Companions of the Cross)
It is then right and just for us to go through trials because there is no way to gain wisdom except by going through times when we cannot understand what has happened to us. Everything happens for a reason. Let us trust God with everything that we are. It’ll take humility and filial reverence to God in order for us to see through these challenges and difficulties.
Are you then willing to believe, without seeing yet?
“Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us; make our hearts burn while you speak to us.” (Lk. 24: 32)