One of the biggest problems in the world today is that too many people have not allowed themselves to have an encounter with Christ Jesus. I include in this many people who would consider themselves devout. They attend Mass, they say prayers, but all of it is done more out of a sense of duty — a moral obligation — than because they have a deeply personal relationship with Jesus. They may know a lot about God, but they do not really know God, and they do not allow themselves to be known by Him.
Consider how we fall in love with another person. I realize that today with the increase in computer dating, this seems to have been twisted around some, but generally we first have an encounter with the person. Maybe it is at school, work, or at a bar, but we see a person and something about them attracts us to them. We know little or nothing about them, but because we are attracted to them we want to get to know them. So we ask them for a dance or to go out for coffee, and hopefully things progress from there. As we get to know more about them, the more we fall in love with them. But first came the encounter.
The same must be true for our relationship with Jesus. We can’t start by reading books about Him, studying theology, and stuff like that. First we must have an encounter with Him, be attracted to Him, recognizing that He fulfills the deepest desires of our hearts. Then as we make our life with Him, we will learn more about Him and get to know Him. And like being around a couple who is in love, we will bare witness to Him because of the joy shining in our lives.
So what keeps us from having an encounter with Jesus? Our own pre-judgements. We impose on reality our preconceived ideas of how thing ought to be. In doing so we are closing our hearts, and with closed hearts we fail to recognize Christ who is passing by. Because of His love for us, Jesus respects our free will. If we have closed hearts, He will not force Himself into our lives. We must take off our blinders of preconceptions and open our hearts to the reality around us. This requires humility, acknowledging our own powerlessness in face of the Mystery of Life. Such humility allows us to open our hearts so that as Christ is passing by, He will knock on the door of our open hearts and come in and dinner with us (the Eucharist). And around His table we will come to know Him as He reveals the Father to us.