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By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Apr 15, 2009)
Readings: Acts 3:1-10; Lk 24:13-35
Their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. Lk 24:31
Today's readings pose an important question: "How do you look?" Not your appearance, but your way of viewing. Do you simply observe things, or do you gaze intently, looking beyond the obvious? Do you merely see with your eyes or do you probe with your mind?
Check out this scene from the first reading: "Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, 'Look at us!' [The cripple] paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them" (Acts 3:4-5). In the name of Jesus, Peter then healed the cripple. And we learn that when the people "saw him," they "recognized him." (Acts 3:9-10).
In the Gospel, when Jesus joined the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they didn't know who He was until the breaking of the bread. Then "their eyes were opened and they recognized Him" (Lk 24:16, 31).
This "Emmaus Problem" is still with us. When the priest elevates the Host, many people still see only bread. Even those of us who believe that Christ is truly present need to grow in our ability to recognize Christ in the Eucharist and thus enter into fuller communion with Him.
What's the answer? To get in the habit of "gazing upon the Lord," pondering as Our Lady did, with your mind, heart, and soul. "To contemplate the face of Christ," wrote Pope John Paul II, "and to contemplate it with Mary is the 'programme' I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium. ... [It] involves being able to recognize Him ... above all in the living sacrament of His body and blood" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 6).
"Although You have hidden Yourself," St. Faustina writes, "my eye, enlightened by faith, reaches You, ... my soul recognizes its Creator, ... and my heart is completely immersed in prayer of adoration" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1692).
Lord, help me to keep my gaze fixed on You. Inspire me to schedule times of adoration, so I can grow in my personal relationship with You. Amen. Alleluia!