A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
April 13, 2023
Christians throughout the World are now observing the glorious Season of Easter. If we probe the four Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, we cannot help but notice what appears to be an odd, if not surprising, detail. In every case where Jesus appears to someone, he soon disappears. Why would the risen Jesus not stay around? We long for people like Jesus to bless our lives and give us hope.
As children, we might have suffered the loss of a beloved grandparent or friend. We might long to be with them again, enjoying their love, wit, and charm. Our lives are often filled with memories of people no longer with us.
One insight comes to mind. Great and wonderful people never block our journey to fulness of life. They mentor and encourage and, only too soon, “disappear.” Jesus disappears so his followers might stand independently without any dependency on him. But, of course, his followers would rather have Jesus as any of us would rather have their Mom’s wisdom or their Dad’s courage. So, Jesus, like the great people in our lives, encourages us not to fear being our true selves.
Great people inspire their followers to find the treasure that is their own mind, heart, and soul. We must remember, we stand uniquely, not alone. As we discover the truth of ourselves, we discover the gift we share with everyone we meet – ourselves.
Jesus invited his followers to eat so they might feed people who are hungry. He asked them to touch his wounds so they might heal people who are broken. Finally, he challenged them not to cling to him so they could become his risen love in the World.
As Christians rejoice in the risen Jesus, all of us can rejoice as we remember the people who loved and challenged us. We might even experience their risen presence in our hearts. Great people never become an obstacle to other people seeking their own greatness. They never cease to be an inspiration and an example of great courage.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, as you continue to mentor and teach with the wisdom and compassion of your heart. Thank you for having the courage to learn from others. You make the World a better place every time you share the preciousness of you with another.