Readings: Acts 10:34, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9
Why are those closest to Jesus so disoriented on the morning of the resurrection? Hadn’t Jesus foretold his rising from the dead?
It’s as if they don’t remember what Jesus said. Isn’t memory tricky? Anyone over sixty knows that! And the older I grow, I’m more interested in what events mean that what had happened.
Then we’ve all met people who denied what we’re sure they said: are they lying or weren’t they listening to themselves? Might that memory be inconvenient or uncomfortable?
Many who have suffered abuse or trauma cannot afford risking the pain, the threat, the anger involved in remembering, though many others do without considering themselves courageous. They just want to live better lives.
Other people do not remember unpleasant facts which could disrupt their rosy world-view. If they did, they might have to change their way of living and assume responsibilities that look frightening.
Remembering makes present events from a moment ago or from the distant past. In a sense, I can even “remember” what happened before I existed–I can “remember” the lessons of history. I can recall here and now what took place right in front of me or even within me, or happenings thousands of miles away. The limits of time and space dissolve in the act of remembering.
The word “remember” implies putting back together the scattered pieces, the dismembered parts of an organic whole. Resurrection is the ultimate re-membering, in that sense, of a vital body of experience scattered by death–in a sense, God remembering a particular life, all it means and all it can continue to be, all present in an eternal “now.”
When I really grasp that–or am grasped by that–how differently would I live? What would still be important? What would I stop worrying about? (What would I begin to worry about!) How would I invest my energies? Have I already “tasted” something of the Lord’s Resurrection (we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection)?
If resurrection could so disrupt my life, how surprised would I have been that first Easter morning to find an empty tomb?