Monday in the Octave of Easter
A young man came to me seeking direction in his life. I asked, “Have you prayed about it?” The man responded with what I detected was a hint of frustration, “Yes—I prayed about it, but God didn’t say anything!”
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb to look for the body of Jesus, but instead, they only encountered the angel who announced, “He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.” They had thought for sure they would find his body in the tomb. Instead, the Gospel recounts that “Jesus met them on their way”— on their return trip to announce this good news to the disciples.
Like the young man I was visiting with, sometimes we have specific notions of how and when we will encounter the Lord. But time and time again it seems that Jesus encounters us in unexpected moments. Jesus meets us on our way, in the present circumstances and moments of our daily life. Fr. Jacques Philippe reminds us that the present moment is rich in grace: “We do not commune with God in the past or the future, but by welcoming each instance as the place where He gives Himself to us. We should learn to live in each moment as sufficient to itself for God is there; and if God is there, we lack nothing.”
Jesus always meets us on our way—He meets us in the sadness and joy, the fear and confusion, the darkness and light. When you listen to the powerful Resurrection accounts this week, you will understand how no space is beyond the scope and power of the Risen Christ—Jesus will pass through locked doors, accompany downcast travelers, and reveal Himself in unexpected circumstances. His desire is to bring peace to those in need. This is how Jesus comforts and shows love to his friends in their distress. The Resurrected Christ’s appearances are often mysterious and unexpected, so that’s precisely why we want to incline our hearts—with a willingness to meet Him in our daily life, willing to reflect and ask for the gift to see Jesus “on our way”—to take the time to look up, acknowledge Him, and give thanks.
Reflection Question: How can you welcome the ways Jesus desires to encounter you in the midst of daily life?
Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB