We’re back in Acts 2 for our first reading today, hearing more of Peter’s great speech at Pentecost. The people ask Peter what they must do to be saved. Peter replies, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” These are wonderful verses about the necessity of baptism and the sacramental graces poured out in baptism. (Forgiveness of sins and reception of the Holy Spirit.)
In the Gospel reading from John 20, Mary Magdalene is weeping outside the empty tomb. She first sees two angels, then turns around and sees Jesus, only she doesn't recognize Him and thinks He is the gardener. He calls her by name and she instantly recognizes Him. He then sends her to go tell the Apostles that she has seen the Lord.
How many times have you looked at Jesus but didn't recognize Him? I submit that this happens often. If we don't see Jesus in the poor, widows and orphans, the downtrodden, the gardener, the CEO, the cop, the child, those we don't particularly like - anyone and everyone! - we've failed to recognize Him. Because every person has been created in the image and likeness of God, they all have Jesus within.
Father, help us to recognize Jesus in others - all others - each day. Amen.
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