The accounts of the resurrection talk about seeing and believing, and not seeing Jesus. The garden account tells us that Mary did not recognize Jesus; she thought he was the gardener. Thomas could not bring himself to believe that he was alive, and had appeared to the others. A week later, he saw and believed. The disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize the stranger that walked along with them and entered their conversation. And the gospel tells us; they recognized him in the breaking of the bread.
Lent has been the season to look through the lens of the gospel in order see clearly what we fail to see; that Jesus is truly present and alive, and with us, and around us, and in us. So many of life’s diversions block our seeing and hearing and experiencing the resurrected Jesus in our midst, in the Eucharist and in our sisters and brothers.
We should not be surprised that, like Mary in the garden, our tears blind our vision, and that like Thomas, our preconceived notions of how things are supposed to be, prevent us from believing that with God all things are possible.
The gospels tell us that we will have problems in this world. They also tell us that where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more. They also tell us that Jesus promised to be with us, and not leave us orphans. These words are meant to give us comfort amidst our pain and suffering, and failures.
The church of Jesus embraces not only Jesus’ suffering and death, but also his resurrection. These two realities can never be separated. In a world that too often sees death as a solution to people problems, we proclaim a Christ who has been crucified and who now lives.
Like Mary and the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we proclaim this Easter, that he is alive, and did not our hearts burn within us, and how we recognized him in the breaking of the bread. And like Thomas we cry out, “my Lord and my God.”
May Christ rising in glory fill us with renewed hope and joy, as we go forth from the empty tomb to proclaim Jesus Christ, yesterday, today, and forever. The Lord has been raised from the dead, and it is wonderful to behold. A Happy and Blessed Easter to all of you.