Today is Mission Monday. On Mission Mondays, I write about my imperfect understanding of God’s perfect love. I am fulfilling my mission to spread the word of God by writing about the strategies and battle plans of the Greatest Conqueror who ever lived – Jesus Christ.
God’s Word: Luke 24:13-25
That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his Body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 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. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Why You Cannot Recognize God in Your Life
"How could they have not recognized Jesus?!"
That was the question I kept asking myself while pulling my hair. No wonder my hairline is like Boracay during low tide. It's receding! But, no! Think positive! High tide is coming!
I really could not understand why the disciples failed to recognize the man they followed for three long years!
Not only the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, but also Mary Magdalene to whom the resurrected Jesus first appeared and the disciples when they went back fishing in Galilee.
Was the appearance of the resurrected Jesus so different from the appearance of the man they followed for three years?
Why We Cannot Recognize Jesus
The reason the disciples could not recognize Jesus was because their eyes were filled with tears.
Their hearts were filled with grief.
I don't know about you, but when I got refused by companies I applied in, when my first website was hacked, and when I had a slight depression wherein I even needed to consult an expert, all I could see were my failures, my trials, and my problems.
Whenever I logged in to Facebook, I easily got insecure of people having fun and enjoying their lives while I lived mine miserably. I had to disable my account for months just to stop hurting myself whenever I visited Facebook.
Whenever we have struggles, we focus so much on them that we fail to recognize the blessings even when they are already right in front of us! We dwell in self-pity asking God why He prospers our Facebook friends we barely know while we are suffering miserably.
We fail to recognize God's loving presence, lessons of growth and compassion, and abundance of blessings. We fail to recognize Jesus even when He is already walking beside us.
I focused on the expectations of the people I do not know that I failed to recognize my family who loves me despite my shortcomings. I focused on the job or promotion I did not get that I failed to recognize the growth and freedom to pursue my dreams in the company I was working with. I focused on my sufferings that I failed to recognize the endurance and perseverance I developed through them.
I focused on pleasing other people that I failed to recognize God who loves me unconditionally.
How about you? What blessings do you fail to recognize because of your problems?
Friend, problems, trials, and sufferings are inevitable in this life. But, wipe away your tears and see the blessings all around you. I can guarantee you this: No matter how much problems you have right now, your blessings always outnumber them. Focus on your blessings.
Besides, failures and problems are also blessings in disguise.
Wipe away your tears, recognize Jesus in your life, and walk with Him towards your conquest.
PS. Give credit where credit is due. I would like to give the credit to the priest who celebrated mass at the Greenbelt chapel last Wednesday. I learned why the disciples could not recognize Jesus from his homily.
PS2. Do you know what happened when Jesus was talking to the disciples? Their hearts were burning within them! Friend, do something that excites you and makes you feel truly alive! Do your own life project. Start your own campaign! When your heart is on fire, you begin to recognize Jesus and God's blessings in your life.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.