Mary Magdalene came to recognize the Risen Jesus when he called her by name. The two disciples came to recognize the Risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus after he explained the scriptures and broke bread with them. The Eleven and those gathered with them in the upper room came to recognize Jesus when he showed them his wounds and ate baked fish before their eyes.
Coming to recognize the Risen Jesus can happen in many ways. These three stories are not the only ways. But each of them present us a valid and proven manifestation of the Risen Jesus, in the conviction of the heart that no one but the individual can verify, in the conviction of the intellect that the individual arrives at with the use of reason, and in the conviction of the soul that the individual embraces in the wounds and hungers of their sisters and brothers. Most of us come to the conviction that Jesus is risen from a combination of these ways, and probably some others we cannot easily identify or describe.
The last few weeks before the governor’s stay-at-home order, I would encounter a homeless man when I walked my dog by the river and downtown. He would greet me and strike up a conversation each time as though we had never met before. It annoyed me slightly, but eventually I would hand him money for food. I knew I should be doing more. So I promised him someday to take him to dinner. I never got the chance. And I haven’t seen him since the pandemic restrictions took effect. When he was just a homeless man, I extended charity at my convenience. If I had seen the wounds of Jesus in him, maybe I would have responded differently. Jesus’ wounds are always right there before me. It is a sign of the resurrection. What will it take for me to recognize him?
This mass was offered for the repose of +Chaz Pauly.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020