In celebrating Easter this year, the gospel story of the disciples at the empty tomb, not knowing where Jesus might be, spoke deeply to my sad and anxious heart. Maybe you also are wondering where Jesus might be, not sure if the Risen Christ of Easter is delaying to visit us during this global pandemic.
Is the uncertainty in my heart perhaps an invitation to a uniquely transformative experience of Easter, a call to move forward into the darkness of the unknown? Perhaps only in our own doubts will we be greeted by the Risen Christ, as the disciples were; or as Mary Magdalen was as she raised her heart wrenching voice in John’s gospel, ‘They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.’
Easter was different this year. Can it also raise for us a different and challenging experience of the Risen Christ as we look ahead to a newly emerging future, different than any of us anticipated?
A Catholic theologian, Ilia Delio OSF, poses a uniquely relevant call:
“The burden of the future is on us, and our task today is to surrender ourselves to the power of Divine Love. This is the heart of the gospel message: if we want a different world, we must become a different people."
So, I ask myself and I ask you to consider, how are we becoming different, becoming transformed by this experience of a global pandemic? Can our encounter with the Risen Christ in this new and different way this Easter Season transform us? That encounter certainly transformed the earliest followers of Jesus from a frightened and disbelieving group huddled in a closed upper room into the bold and committed disciples of the Risen Christ who changed the world with the proclamation of new life emerging from death. It can do the same for us.
In Word and Mission,
Sharon Glumb, SLW Kris Vorenkamp, SLW Carrie Miller, SLW
Congregational Leadership, Sisters of the Living Word