Our first lesson, from Acts, is Jesus’ revealing himself to Saul, the persecutor of his followers, in the blinding light on the road to Damascus. When Saul fell to the ground, a voice spoke, saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” To which came the reply, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Then he directed Saul to go into the city, where he would be told what to do. Once there, Saul was healed and filled with the Holy Spirit. He was baptized and then went about fulfilling Jesus’ desire that he should bring the Good News to the Gentiles.
During this Easter season, how does Jesus reveal himself to us? It may be through our increased awareness of how good God has been to us in sending loving people and good care into our lives. It may be in the realization that we are “coming up empty” in trying to take care of everything ourselves. It may be through the awareness that we have been going our own way, doing things that grieve God and cause Jesus to suffer.
The Risen Lord comes to us in these ways, not to provoke our guilt or to show our weakness, but in order to cause us to open our eyes and hearts and hands to receive his love and his gifts. Then, as he did with his first disciples, he directs us to do the same for all of his “lambs.” How can we, individually and collectively, tend and feed those around us who need good news, love, care? Each of us can do this in small ways every day, out of our own gratitude. We are also being called to do more, in his Name, things that require vision and commitment and fearlessness. Eastertide gives us the renewed hope to seek God’s will in those things.