Fr Jim Cogley
A common feature of the Resurrection accounts is the failure of the disciples to recognize the Risen Lord when he appears to them. Even Mary Magdalene who was his closest companion, and who had always accompanied him on his travels failed to recognize him at the tomb on the Easter morning and thought he was the gardener. This seems strange since many of them had already heard reports that he had risen. Surely it was, not that their sight was bad, or that Jesus had changed beyond recognition. For to understand what is happening here we need to draw on our own experience. There is physical seeing with the eyes but there is also an emotional seeing with the heart. When our hearts are wounded, it has the effect of distorting the way we see with our eyes. Like those wounded disciples we can be so focused on death that we are unable to see life; we can be so trapped in our inner darkness that the light cannot penetrate. In all the resurrection accounts Christ led his disciples through a process of healing before their eyes were opened and they could see the reality of his resurrected self.