I am called by faith to investigate my wounds—betrayal, shame, illness, fear, grief, depression—and find therein the Risen Jesus. And I am also called by faith to honor the wounds of others and find therein the Risen Jesus.
Today I will find peace in the presence of the Risen Jesus despite the many wounds of the human family.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Rembrandt (1606-1669) Christ Resurrected Oil on canvas, 1661 Munich, Alte Pinakothek
Like Mary, I am going in search of Jesus. The path is sometimes dark with pain and sorrow, uncertainty and discouragement, suffering and anxiety. What I bring with me—hope, love, faith, compassion, kindness, respect, forgiveness, peace—is what I am searching for. I follow the way, even in darkness, to find the Way.
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. John 20:1
[Jesus said to his disciples:] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” John 14:1
With all the natural disasters, wars, abuse, cruelty, greed, illness, poverty, and loneliness in the world, sometimes my heart is troubled.
Yet if I have faith in in the pure, unconditional love and goodness of God, then I need to invite Jesus, the Compassion of God, to be my companion. I need to have faith that his example will show me the Way through the messy human condition. I need to have faith in the Truth of God’s mercy and forgiveness. I need to have faith in the gift of LIfe eternal.
Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) Two Disciples at the Tomb, ca.1906 oil on canvas Art Institute of Chicago via Wikimedia Commons
When Simon Peter arrived after [the other disciple], he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. John 20:6-7
I imagine Jesus chuckling as he neatly rolls the cloth that had covered his head and leaves it conspicuously separate from the other burial cloths. He knows his disciples are in for a big surprise. And he knows they will be puzzled, dismayed—and hopeful.
The resurrection of Jesus always points me to hope. Hope in change. Hope in the unknown. Hope in God’s gentle guidance and infinite love.