Readings for today: Acts 10:34, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9
But when Christ is revealed – and he is your life – you, too, will be revealed with him in glory.
After 40 days of waiting and preparation, we have finally made it to the celebration of Easter. Alleluia, He is risen!
The gospel today closes off with the following, after recounting the empty tomb that Peter and the other disciple was faced with: “[Until] this moment, they had still not understood the scripture, that He must rise from the dead.”
I can only imagine what it would feel like to go and mourn at the grave of a family member or friend, only to find that their grave is suddenly empty. For Peter, the other disciple and Mary Magdalene, Jesus being in His grave was fact, something they knew and used to comfort themselves. But when they found the tomb empty, they must have felt confused, lost and maybe even betrayed.
In many ways, I see this similar to how I feel when I call upon Jesus in my time of need and find that nothing is changed or fixed. When I’m lacking in strength and patience and humility, I feel abandoned by Jesus, looking into an empty tomb and seeing linen cloth lying around. I cry out in my anger and frustration, “Where are you, Lord?”
During these times of despair, we tend to focus just on ourselves and find fault in everything. I know that this is something that I have struggled with day in and day out. But the second reading today, from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, St. Paul calls upon us to “set ours sights on the things that are above” (Col. 3:2). Even in our suffering, we need to look beyond ourselves and look to Jesus to guide us through.
To close this reflection, I want to close with a scripture passage that I came across a few weeks ago when I was reflecting. I was going through a difficult time myself, and I was trying to look for a sign. Not the most humble thing in the world, but I was trying to find something from God to tell me that I was going to be okay. I challenged Him in my suffering: “Where are you, God? If you are here, show me.”
Through my angry flipping, I dropped my bible on the floor. What it flipped open to was Ephesians 6:10-20, a passage known as The Whole Armour of God:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore,having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Through all your suffering and the battles that you face in your life, take heart and look to Him. He hasn’t abandoned us – He is always there beside us.
St. Bernadette, pray for us!