He has risen

April 17, 2022

John tells us that Mary Magdalene traveled in the dark of night, making it to the tomb before dawn, so strong was her dedication to the Lord. She had no idea what to make of what she found – the stone rolled away and the tomb – empty – and immediately ran to two of Jesus’ closet disciples. Following this passage John writes that Mary returned to the empty tomb and wept. Not only had he died, his body was gone. It is while she is weeping, after she see two angels in the tomb, that she turns and sees whom she believes must be a gardener. But when he calls her name, “Mary!” she immediately realizes it is the Lord. Her tears of grief transform to tears of joy. We are not as fortunate to hear Jesus call to us in a voice we immediately recognize, but he calls us by name as well. May we take comfort in knowing this as we try to discern his voice. Love can cause us to act without thinking, trust without logical reason, accept without understanding. When the disciple whom Jesus loved entered the tomb he saw the burial cloths left behind and had the cloth rolled up separately. He still did not understand, John tells us, yet he believed. His love led him to believe in a living Christ, a risen Lord, even before he could wrap his mind around the possibility. More than anything in the world, he wanted the crucifixion of the one he loved not to be the end. “This is the day the Lord has made,” we sing in the responsorial psalm, “let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24). Obviously, we do so today. But what about tomorrow when we return to work or someday soon that brings pain and suffering, let alone on those routine days when the pressures of work or family or life drags us down? Let Paul’s words redirect our focus: “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth” (Colossian 3:2). Keeping in mind that the Son of God came from above to be one of us, to suffer with us, and to redeem us, may we continue to sing of the wonder of each day. For the Lord made each day for us to rejoice and be glad in the lasting company of our Savior. Christ is with us today, tomorrow, and every day of the rest of our lives. Amen. (Casey, Most Reverend Robert G. Pastoral Patterns. World Library Publication, 2022)

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