Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
Today’s scriptures remind me of a sign in a local shelter which recently caught my eye: “When one door closes, another opens; but we may be so intent on our disappointment and lost expectations as the one door closes, that we fail to see what gifts and opportunities are awaiting us through the new door.”
During this octave week of Easter, we listen to the resurrection stories – accounts of Jesus’ appearance to his friends, the women and men who, days before, had been overwhelmed with grief at Jesus’ trial, crucifixion and death. In each of these accounts, no one initially recognizes Jesus in their midst. They cannot grasp the new reality of the resurrected Jesus.
As a teen, I thought that it would be so easy to be a believer in Jesus if I had lived during his time on earth, especially after the resurrection. I wouldn’t have to depend on others’ belief and scripture accounts. I would see and understand because I would be there!
As an adult, I am more realistic in admitting that I also would probably have been an ‘un-see-er,’ a doubter, one who would have been so caught up in my disappointment and grief following the death of Jesus, that I would have been unable, just as the disciples on the way to Emmaus, to really see/understand the possibility of Jesus in my company.
In today’s first reading from Acts, the people are, “…struck with astonishment – utterly stupefied at what happened,” when they saw the lame beggar “…walking, jumping, and praising God,” after he had been healed by Peter and John.
Are these miracles, these astonishing evidences of God’s presence reserved for ancient times and for a favored few? Are we left in our time only to ponder what is written about events, which took place almost two millennia ago, or is God's presence still alive in our midst?
I’m afraid that often times, I experience what the sign in the shelter suggests: I am so caught up in my hopes and expectations, in my life according to my plans and vision, that I often miss God’s actions in my midst. How often do I see and experience my family, my friends, and my colleagues through my filtered vision, through my expectations? What gets in my way of opening myself to their ongoing ‘becoming’ as personally unique images and presences of God? Instead of being present to them in the NOW, I get caught up in my idea of them, not allowing them or God to shine through in new and exciting ways.
Perhaps Easter time is not only about rejoicing in God’s presence
in Jesus’ life and resurrection, but a time to invite us to open ourselves
to the ‘little Easters’ in our day-to-day lives. Where is God awaiting
our readiness to really see the living presence of the Spirit in our midst,
in the people and events of our ordinary lives?
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