Think about the moments you spend in prayer. Those moments when you are so close to Christ you have no idea what is going on but deep in your heart you know something important is happening. When I reflect on the greatest moments of my life, for most of them I am never conscious of how monumental those moments actually are until after they have passed. It is only when I bring those moments to prayer and invite the Holy Spirit in that the truth is revealed and miracles have then transpired.
During this time of deep prayer, it feels as though the Holy Spirit lifts a veil from my eyes. Suddenly, I become completely aware of how great and strong a presence Jesus has in my life. These times of understanding can be almost unbearable because my human body is so close to the divine. If these encounters in prayer were that powerful, no wonder I was unable to comprehend the immense impact of those moments at the time they actually occurred.
If experiences like these we have in prayer are so life-altering, it is hard to imagine what it must have been like for the disciples who were in the true physical presence of Jesus Christ. It took me awhile to understand the stories told in the gospel like the one we read today about the road to Emmaus. How could these devout disciples not recognize their Savior?
“And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.” Luke 24:30
In truth, if these disciples had recognized Jesus immediately, the story told in the Gospel would not have been the same and would not have held the same impact. Jesus had His divine plan and chose to reveal Himself at pivotal moments.
What a blessing these disciples were given. They had this time with Jesus where they could relive other intimate moments with Him during His ministry, and then in the instant He showed them who He actually was, they could look back and see those moments unveiled just as I do in prayer.
We are all human and our ability to understand the divine can be limited because of sin. Nevertheless, when we are fortunate enough to gain insight into what the Lord is doing in our lives, that realization becomes totally and entirely life changing.
One thought on “See, Hear, Understand”
I never looked at the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus from the perspective you describe in this reflection, but I do remember wondering why they didn’t immediately recognize Jesus. What you say makes perfect sense, however, and made the moment of recognition much more powerful for them. The comparison you give with our own moments when we don’t see the presence of our Lord in our lives is especially appropriate. It often takes deep prayer, sometimes after receiving communion, to fully grasp the significance of the divine providence of a past event.