We have experienced the Resurrection of Jesus and are now in the Easter season. But the reality of the world and its condition remains.
After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared repeatedly to His disciples. In some instances, they did not recognize Him. At first, this seems strange that those who spent years with Jesus did not recognize Him. But Mark tells us that He appeared "in another form".
There were the disciples who did not recognize Him, even as He laid out the prophesies before them, but they recognized Him in the breaking of the bread.
And Peter recognized Him when, as He commanded, they dropped their nets after a day of catching nothing and were unable to pull the fish (153, the number categorized by Greek zoologists, thought to symbolize the universal <catholic> mission) into the boat. Perhaps he remembered the first time he encountered Jesus, and the words, "I will make you fishers of men."
And the encounter with Thomas......
Yet, even after these encounters, and even after seeing Him "lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight", it wasn't until Pentecost, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that they truly embraced the mission of Christ's Church.
During the fifty days between the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus until Pentecost, we should be reflecting upon our baptismal call and what it means to be Christians.
Easter Sunday has passed, but as I stated earlier, the reality of a broken world remains. There is no shortage of bad news and mind-blowing accounts of atrocities, along with threats and fears and all sorts of disease and ailments.
If we cannot see beyond these things, it will be difficult to recognize the risen Jesus, and we can lose hope.
Jesus is with us in the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. Do we recognize Him in the breaking of the Bread?
At the end of Mass, we are sent out to continue the mission of the Church. Do we leave worried about what we "got out of" or did not "get out of" Mass? Can we possibly be so bold as to not recognize Jesus, brush him aside and wonder "What's in it for me?"
We should leave asking "What is it that God is calling me to today? Who is God calling me to today?"
I can certainly be guilty of focusing too much on the icy world around me. Perhaps you can say the same. These things are distractions from the Truth and the eternal reality.
The great news is that we don't have to rely on ourselves. We have the Holy Spirit to help us to fulfill our calling, to accomplish the mission of God, and to help us to see beyond our doubts to the Hope of the Resurrection.
Let's help the world to break through this temporal ice; to rise up and live in the Life of Christ!