3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 18/4/2021 - Gospel: Lk 24, 35-48
Beyond Human Senses
Human senses are created for the empirical world. All of us enjoy, more or less,  seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling. We understand most things of the empirical world. However, in dealing with the abstract, human senses start to struggle, and human senses become mystified in dealing with the heavenly realm.

Three days after Jesus' crucifixion, each time the risen Lord appeared to His disciples, they mistook Him for someone else. Mary of Magdala met Jesus. She mistook Him for a gardener. She recognised Him after hearing Him call her name Jn 20,17. The two disciples who were on the road to Emmaus, saw Him, heard Him, travelled with Him, and yet could not recognize Him. At the end of the day, they saw 'He took the bread, and said the blessing; then He broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.' Lk 24,30. The Last Supper experience returned, and that opened their eyes. Jesus again appeared to the other disciples, and they mistook Him, believing that 'They were seeing a ghost'. Lk 24,38.

The Gospel explained this phenomenon as, 'something prevented them from recognising Him' Lk 24,16. We don't know what this 'something' was, but it must have to do with Jesus' power of the resurrection, and that 'something' is beyond our human senses. The risen Lord knew the person to whom He appeared.  For Him, physical barriers, time and space were no problems.

We know that emotions often dictate our senses. When in a hurry, we often can't find things we are looking for. In panic situations, we make mistakes that we could easily avoid in normal circumstance.

When the risen Lord appeared to the women at the tomb; they were very upset and in mourning. When He appeared to His apostles in a room, they were living in fear and in hiding. When He met the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, their lives were shattered and they were in grief. These two disciples accepted their limitations. They explained, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?' Lk 24,32. These two disciples believed that if they had  believed their hearts burning from within, they would have recognized Jesus much earlier, when He talked to them on the road. For them, not the senses alone, but an open heart was needed to help their eyes to see and their ears to hear, the Risen Lord.

This echoed what the prophet Isaiah once explained, that when people's hearts were closed, they would 'listen and listen again, but not understand, see and see again, but not perceive' Is 6,9.

Hearing and listening with an open heart is a way to recognize the risen Lord. Jesus added, that faith was the key to understanding His message. Some people would not recognize Him because they were 'slow to believe the full message of the prophets' Lk 24,25. The apostles' hearts were filled with joy when they met Jesus, but their heads were slow.

Three times before His death Jesus was prophesying about His own Passion, that it must first happen, and three days later, He would rise from the dead. Faith helps an open heart and human senses to recognize the risen Lord.