Saturday in the Octave of Easter
Growing up, I often spend weekend nights with friends watching reruns of the show Ripley’s Believe it or Not. We laughed or screamed, at the tales told in the show. Robert Ripley had a knack of convincing us to believe in whatever he was presenting to us.
In today’s gospel reading, it is apparent those to whom Jesus first appeared did not have the gift of persuasion which Ripley possessed. We are often approached by friends just like Mary Magdalene and those walking in the country. It is easy to see the awe and wonder bursting out of every inch of their being. Yet, the unbelief they encounter from us, from so many, must have been disheartening. How many times are we in their shoes and excited about something, emphatic about what we are sharing, to only be greeted with apathy? Can’t you just hear their pleas: How could you not believe? How can this not change your life? You have to believe me!
But the Eleven, who were caught in “unbelief and hardness of heart,” stood their ground, closed off and stubborn. So many times those closest to us beg and plead in an effort to help us, but we turn away, too attached to our own ideas or the need to control.
This is especially difficult when what we are hearing challenges our beliefs, confronts our egos, or asks us to stretch our understanding of reality. Sometimes we may question or even lash out at those who are dear to us. Thankfully, Jesus enters our midst and rebukes us. He opens our hearts and reveals to us the love which He is offering through those closest to us. If only we believe in Him and allow ourselves to truly receive the gifts brought by others, we will be able to take the next step and share the Good News of the Gospel with others. We may even have the gift of persuasion which Robert Ripley possessed.
Help us, Jesus, Lord and Savior, to put our egos aside and believe without seeing.
- Sandy Monier - Retreat Team Member, St Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, Pittsburgh.