Why did not the Risen One reveal himself to his enemies in his full glory in order to show that it is God who is victorious? Why did he only manifest himself to his disciples? Jesus’ answer is mysterious and profound. The lords says: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

This means that the Risen One must be seen, must also be perceived by the heart, in a way that God may take up his abode within us. The Lord does not appear as a thing. He desires to enter our lives, and therefore his manifestation is a manifestation that implies and presupposes an open heart. Only in this way do we see the Risen One.

Benedict XVI from The Apostles

The natural question for any sceptic is ‘Why does God not reveal himself?’ It is a clear and logical question – put another way ‘Why all the mystery?’

Part of the answer can be found simply by imagining what such a revelation would mean. At some level it would simply be the end of everything we know, nothing would be the same. Our freedom, our will, our personality, everything we think has value would fade to nothing. Whatever the absence of God means it certainly allows for a certain kind of being which his presence would end.

Part of that being, as Pope Benedict suggests, is being open to having God be present within us. The very opposite of his being present before us. This is a different kind of submission, not cowed or awed, but enchanted by God.