Daily Gospel Reflection for April 19, 2017

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Today’s Gospel: John 10:22-30

A while ago I was walking downtown, headed to lunch with some friends, and walked right past a homeless man. I looked at him, saw his face, and kept walking without saying a word. But the image of his face resonated in my mind and my heart as I went to prayer that evening. I remember thinking, “I walked right past Jesus.” It hurt to think that I disregarded someone completely, not recognizing Christ within him. My heart ached for this man, but also for my own blindness and hardness of heart.

In today’s Gospel passage the disciples did not immediately recognize Jesus either. They walked with Jesus, heard His explanations of the Scriptures, and asked Him, “Stay with us,” all without realizing it was Him. It was not until Jesus revealed Himself in the breaking of the bread that their eyes were opened. Reflecting on the encounter though, they asked each other, “Weren’t our hearts on fire?” The Lord desires not only to open our eyes, but also to open our hearts and to set them ablaze with love for Him. And what is our response when that happens? Just look at the disciples. Immediately after Jesus reveals Himself, the disciples rise up and walk all the way back to Jerusalem, a seven-mile journey. And they do it in the middle of the night, not the safest time to travel. But they did it for one reason, to share the joy of the risen Lord. For them, it was the only response that made sense. And this is what each one of us is called to do, how we are called to live – to recognize Christ around us and share that joy with everyone we encounter.

Ponder:

Have I recognized the presence of Christ in another today? In myself?

Pray:

Lord Jesus, open our eyes and our hearts to see you this day. Reveal Yourself to us in a new way, giving us such joy that we can’t help but share it with others.

 

Copyright 2017 Adam Nowak

Adam Nowak is a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently in his second year of theological studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. Prior to entering seminary, Adam obtained a degree in psychology and religious studies. When not at the seminary, he can often be found reading Von Balthasar at one of the many hipster coffee shops in Detroit.

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