BY BISHOP DAVID WALKER
It was early on Easter morning and the two Marys went to the place where Jesus has been buried. Who knows what they expected to see – certainly no miracle! They may well have spent the Sabbath by themselves, perhaps in a fury of anger and grief at what had been done to their beloved teacher. But that unique love we all know – a love experienced in loss – brings them to the garden on this Sunday morning.
At the tomb they meet an angel whose words fill their emptiness with a hope that transforms their bitterness into an awesome excitement and sets them on a new and unexpected path as witnesses to God’s greatest miracle. God has vindicated faithful, suffering, stubborn, unrelenting love – the very love of God that filled his creation with life.
Easter is God’s promise that real love will not disappoint, will not be wasted, will not destroy or be destroyed. The empty tomb vindicates the sacrifice of emptying oneself for the sake of another, taking up one’s cross to bring resurrection to a Calvary, the bringing of the anointing oils, the myrrh and aloes, to heal and restore the most lifeless of situations. The emptiness of loss will be filled and the darkness of grief will break. Love not only changes the one loved but recreates the lover.
What our God asks of us in not easy. The loss of a loved one - an experienced shared by all of us, I’m sure – is devastating and the pain of a love betrayed is not easily healed. God knows this only too well. But, in the raising of his Son from the death others condemned him to, God promises that love will ultimately triumph, hearts broken will be healed and made stronger, the emptiness we feel will be filled.
This is my Easter hope and prayer for you – in the midst of caring for, and leading your children to, a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, may you look and discover God walking with you every step of the way from the pain and disappointments of your personal Calvary to the garden tomb to Easter in Galilee of your life. May the peace of the Risen Lord be with you always!
For further reflections on scripture in this week's liturgy, click the link below for Sister Hildegard Ryan’s Lectio Divina:
LECTIO DIVINA: Holy Reading