Easter Sunday, 9 April, 2023: Acts: 10:34a, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9
The older I become, the more the events of Holy Week ring so true! I can identify with the confusion, the fears, the disillusionment of Peter or Mary of Magdala. How often life educates our expectations, overthrowing the “happily-ever-after” scenario, fit only for the movies, as life equips us to prepare for the next tragedy. Listening to John’s account of the Passion is not unlike reading the headlines: this is certainly life as we know it.
I face my disappointments or, like Peter, own my betrayal and openly carry my regrets, wiser, even relieved, to have exposed another facet of my false self. Like Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus, I leave the shadows and acknowledge my allegiance to this rejected, annihilated Jesus.
And then suddenly everything changes: the tomb is empty! It’s not at all what I dared hope for; in fact what I was looking for in Jesus is embarrassingly petty: “fix this,“ “block that,” “straighten out so-and-so.”
What is now breaking through renders the ground rules of human experience, unrecognizable. Mind you, the day-to-day hasn’t shifted one bit, but where it could actually lead gives it incredible significance. Hope—not optimism but hope—is the new horizon.
I have to confess that the celebration of Lent has always made more sense to me than Easter; the seven weeks of “alleluias” can seem strained. And I wonder whether we might face the ineffable mystery of the Risen Lord and—the first step to our own resurrected life–better in silent awe than a simulacrum of joy. Though this possibility of the fullness of life is beyond my mental capacity, how powerfully it confronts me in this sacred Season—or in unexpected liminal situations. How this promise dwarfs my puny imaginings.