Mary comes to the tomb before dawn and discovers that his grave is opened and his body gone. She runs to tell others, then rushes back with them to the scene of the crime. They stare, like Mary, at the rolled up head cloth and discarded wrappings. Then, turning around, they head for home. But Mary stays; and Mary weeps. Face to face with the unexplained empty tomb, Mary lets grief prevail.
How many places around the world call for our collective grief and tears these days!
? An elementary school in San Bernardino;
? a Coptic church in Egypt
? A bridge in London;
? a town in Syria
The pain and suffering in our world is everywhere, spilling over wherever we look; when we look. So we begin this Easter day as Mary did. We sit with her, and weep.
But though weeping is how this Easter story begins, it is not how it ends. As the Risen Lord opened Mary's eyes by calling her name, so he opens our eyes, and calls us to be his witnesses and partners by seeing, supporting, and participating in resurrection as it unfolds in our communities and in our world.
The rhetoric of distrust and suspicion has always been present in our world. But on this day the naysayers and death-dealers are overcome by the testimony of a community of the living. Not because we shout louder! But because we’ve learned to build one another up, and to build up our communities and world, through habits of hospitality, through acts of mercy, compassion, courage, and self-sacrifice. Actions we learned from Jesus.
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