In a group sharing on the theme of Easter, a woman shared a question bugging her for a long time. If Jesus rose from the dead, if the disciples were longing so much for their Crucified Master, why do the gospels tell us that they did not recognize Jesus when he came to appear to them?
On this third Sunday, Luke’s gospel refreshes the problem for us (Luke 24: 35-48). In appearing to his disciples, Jesus saw the fear and the terror in their eyes. He recognized their doubts and questions. While the disciples rejoiced after recognizing the Lord, their hearts still contained some doubts.  Surely it was not easy to identify the Risen One.
There are two reasons for this lack of recognition.  First, the Lord truly rose from the dead.  He is now totally transformed.  The resurrection is not mere resuscitation of a dead body, the mere re-animation of a corpse.  There is a real change, such that the disciples never knew before.
Jesus can now enter a room without passing through a door. He can now vanish from their sight. It is the same Lord, but now he is clothed in glory.  Something changed and Jesus, though the same Lord, must live with that new state of transformation.
Second, the resurrection is an expereince that comes with faith.  Jesus did not appear to the people who hated him, who killed him, who refused him.  He appeared to the people who put their trust in him, in order to strengthen their faith.  Even if a Pharisee or a Roman soldier happened to join the apostles in the room, they could not possibly see the Risen Lord when he appeared. Why, because, they could not see someone they did not believe in. The heart was closed.
The  disciples’ faith had been tested.  They believe in the Lord and truly loved him but their faith was shaken.  It took some time to regain their once sturdy hope. That was why the Risen  Lord patiently guided them to a revival of faith.  Once their faith was triggered, they recognized the Lord!
Let us pray for the grace to see Jesus in the midst of the changes of life. let us pray for the grace to regain our faith when we are tested.  May the Risen One be truly our companion! Amen.