Commentary on the reading of the day provided by :
Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890),
Cardinal, founder of the Oratory in England, theologian
PPS IV, 17 “Christ Manifested in Remembrance”
“Rabbi, when did you get here?…- This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent”
Christ refused to bear witness to Himself, or say what He was, or whence he came.
Thus He was among them “as he that serveth.” (Lk 22,27).
Apparently, it was not till after His resurrection, and especially after His ascension, when the Holy Ghost descended, that the Apostles understood who had been with them.
When all was over they knew it, not at the time.
Now here we see, I think, the trace of a general principle, which comes before us again and again both in Scripture and in the world, that God’s Presence is not discerned at the time when it is upon us, but afterwards, when we look back upon what is gone and over…
Events happen to us pleasant or painful; we do not know at the time the meaning of them, we do not see God’s hand in them.
If indeed we have faith, we confess what we do not see, and take all that happens as His; but whether we will accept it in faith or not, certainly there is no other way of accepting it.
We see nothing.
We see not why things come, or whither they tend.
Jacob cried out on one occasion, “All these things are against me;” (Gen. 42,36) certainly so they seemed to be…Yet all these things were working for good.
Or pursue the fortunes of the favourite and holy youth who was the first taken from him; sold by his brethren to strangers, carried into Egypt, tempted by a very perilous temptation, overcoming it but not rewarded, thrown into prison, the iron entering into his soul, waiting there till the Lord should be gracious, and “look down from heaven;” but waiting—why? and how long?
It is said again and again in the sacred narrative, “The Lord was with Joseph;”…Thus though the Lord was with him, apparently all things were against him.
Yet afterwards he saw, what was so mysterious at the time;—”God did send me before you,” he said to his brethren, “to preserve life … It was not you that sent me hither, but God” (Gn 45,7).
Wonderful providence indeed which is so silent, yet so efficacious, so constant, so unerring!
This is what baffles the power of Satan.
He cannot discern the Hand of God in what goes on.