The last thing I did at my school was listen to eight seniors give their senior retreat talks.
To a man, each talk was incredibly moving. I remember remarking “Gentlemen, this is gonna be a fantastic retreat because you have such great wisdom to share.” I thanked all of them for their work, reminded them of upcoming deadlines, and, without me asking, they helped me clean up the classroom. I said goodbye to them and all the faculty leaders and walked back to my office to gather my things and go home.
That was six and a half weeks ago, and home is where I’ve been ever since that Tuesday evening with very few exceptions.
That Tuesday afternoon sitting in a classroom and listening to those seniors talk was at the forefront of my mind when I read today’s Gospel. We hear today from Luke about the disciples walking the road to Emmaus. They are joined on the road by Jesus, but they fail to recognize Him. As I read this Gospel, I put myself back in my chair in that room watching and marveling at those young men tell their stories. And I realized that I had, in fact, been in the presence of Jesus… and I had, like the disciples on the road, failed to fully recognize Him for who He was.
He was there in each of those young men and in everyone of the faculty members listening to them. He was in the student sitting in my commons area studying as I gathered my things to leave and the students hanging out at a table in our cafeteria waiting for their rides – students that were still there even as the clock struck 6. He was in the teacher I passed prepping in her empty classroom. He was in the colleague I waved to backing their car out of its space as I climbed into my own.
He was there, all that time…
But I am not sure I ever REALLY saw Him.
Only now that we are apart and I look back at that day and the many others like it am I tangibly aware of how often Christ was right there beside me, walking with me and teaching me and showing me light on a daily basis.
I can literally not wait until I can be back in those halls again walking among 1200 signs of the Lord in my midst.
And next time, I hope I really see Him.