I love today's Gospel (John 20:11-18) in which mourning Mary Magdalene fails to recognize Jesus. She thinks he's the gardener. But he calls her by name and then she knows it is the Lord.
Now if someone who knew Jesus well in his historical life didn't recognize him right away in his new, risen, and eschatological life, what hope is there for us?
I think it's the calling by name that's important. As it made the difference for Mary, so I think it makes the difference for us. For those moments when we are able to truly see the Risen Lord in the joy or suffering of another person, in the Spirit praying within us, or in the bread and wine of his Eucharist, it is only because God has called us to see in prayer. God has called us by name and invited us to notice his Risen Presence in all these things.
But just as Jesus told Mary to stop "holding on" to him, so it is with our experiences of the Risen Lord. As soon as we try to grab on to these moments as if they were something of our own, the Presence of God retreats again. But this retreat is not an abandonment but an invitation for us to go deeper into the mystery of ourselves and God in prayer, and so to hear ourselves called by name at a place closer and closer to the core of our own human identity, which after all is Christ himself.