By Fr. Tim Knepper, C.PP.S.
“God granted that [Jesus] be visible, not to all the people but to us” (Acts 10: 40-41).
In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that Jesus appeared to his apostles and friends after his resurrection. He ate and drank as before, yet his body was different. It showed the marks of his crucifixion, yet it was glorified.
Yet as I read the accounts in Acts and the Gospels, one persistent question nags me sometimes. Why didn’t Jesus appear to everyone? In our Madison Avenue way of thinking, why not have the Lord Jesus put on blue tights, red boots and a cape, and fly over Jerusalem, telling all his naysayers, “Look guys, you were wrong! Let me tell you in a song! Scored by Lin-Manuel Miranda with backup singers and special guest star soloist Beyoncé.” I admit it’s over the top but if you’re resurrected, GO BIG!
There are two thoughts on this subject and I wish to briefly touch on them. The first one is our Lord was not proud, He was humble. To actively proclaim his own resurrection on a grand scale would have probably involved pride.
The second one is that we can see Jesus today. He is available in the sacraments. He is also visible in our poor brothers and sisters. The sad fact is many eyes do not want to see Him. What can block our vision? Indifference, desire for comfort, distractions, and the busyness of life.
Experiencing Jesus after the resurrection changed the disciples into apostles. One effect of the new normal of COVID-19 is seeing people help one another. We may hear reports of hoarding and other acts that repulse us. But we also see acts of Christian and human kindness of neighbors checking in on one another, people practicing social distancing but still living Christian community.
Where do you see Jesus alive today?