As I was praying my rosary this morning (as you all know, that is when I have my "deep thoughts"), I was thinking about why Jesus was at first unrecognizable to his disciples after his resurrection.
Mary Magdalene thought Jesus was the gardener when she saw him outside of the tomb. The seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberius did not recognize him when he asked about their fishing. The men walking to Emmaus had a lengthy conversation with him about his own crucifixion without realizing it was him. It was only later that their eyes were opened and they all realized that they had been talking to the resurrected Jesus.
What could be the reason for this, I wondered? Why would so many not recognize right away and need their eyes opened for them to see what was right in front of them?
I did not wonder long before I knew the answer: Jesus is in all the people around us, whether we can see him or not. Often we need our eyes opened to see him, but he is there. Not in body, as was the case with the befuddled disciples, but just as real.
He is there in our spouses, our parents, our children, our friends. It is easiest to see him there, in those who are good to us or who treat us as we imagine Jesus would--with loving care and concern. But he is also in those who don't treat us as they should. Those who drive us crazy, those who we judge.
Our eyes are opened to his presence in these difficult people when we allow ourselves to see. We see the opportunities these people provide us to work on our patience, our compassion, and our Christian kindness. We see the needs that these people have that cause them to act the way they do, needs that we can often help fill. The need for acceptance, love, or understanding. When we see these thing, we see Jesus in everyone, and our eyes are opened.
Is this easy? Of course not! It is nearly impossible. But nothing is impossible with God. Lord, may my eyes be opened to see.