|By Fr. Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose and Vicar General for special projects, Diocese of San Jose. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hidden in Plain Sight
I was recently visiting family and my niece and my nephew were busy playing a game. It was a simple, fun game and quite humorous to me. One person had a list of 12 regular household items that the other would hide in plain sight in the room. The list included things like a red pencil, a blue pen, a yellow piece of paper, a post-it note, a paper clip, and all sort of regular items. The rule was that you could only hide the items in plain view; you could try to hide it but you had to leave at least some part of it showing. In other words, it was hidden in plain sight.
My nephew came back and was looking for all the items. The first piece of paper was sticking out of my book; then he gets the blue pen, the red pencil, and he finds most of the items. But there was one item he could not find. My niece had put the paper clip on a leaf of the household plant, sticking out like at eye level. And literally, the paper clip was right on the top of the leaf, almost touching his cheek. A person can hint with how physically close they are to the items: hot, hotter, oh, cool, cool, cool, cold, really cold.
He was going crazy because he could not find the paper clip. He would go right up to it, but he could not see the paper clip. I never laughed so hard in my life. It was hidden in plain sight!
There are a lot of great things in our own lives that are hidden in plain sight. The goodness of God is all around us but we often fail to recognize it. The simple things we have in our lives and his abundant goodness are always there, yet we cannot see it.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus was among his disciples hidden in plain sight. They could not see him until the breaking of the bread. Their eyes were opened and then they understood. It was like my nephew; when we pointed at the paper clip and he recognized it and knew it was there all along hidden in plain sight.
I think the same is true of us in our own lives. That hidden in plain sight all around us is God’s greatness, God’s beauty and yet so often in our lives, those things are caught up in the busyness of life and we fail to recognize them.
In our own lives, we need to take 5 or 10 minutes to allow the Lord to inform us where He is in our life. The scripture will do that for us. Break it open, spend time reading it and the Lord will point out where He is in the midst of our daily life: in our spouse, in our children, in our parents, in our neighbor, in our community, maybe even in a stranger. Today we celebrate, along with the disciples, the hidden presence of Christ in our lives.