On the first Easter morning, the visitors to the tomb discovered it empty, which left them filled with heart-wrenching questions: Who rolled away the stone? Where is Jesus? Why are his burial clothes still in the tomb? What do we do now? Dare we hope that what he promised has come true, that he would rise from the dead on the third day?
What would we have done had we encountered the empty tomb on that fateful day? Would we have run away too scared to tell anyone what we saw? Would we have peered into the darkness of the tomb, thinking our eyes were playing tricks on us and he was still there? Or would we be hoping not to find him there because he was true to his word?
If we heard God’s messenger ask in our confusion, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?”, what would have been your response?
On this Easter feast, where and how do we seek the crucified one?
I would like to turn around the question the angel proposed. My question is: Why do you seek the dead among the living? I ask this because I believe the Lord of the resurrection is calling to us to answer that challenge now in our world.
I hear the resurrected Christ say: Go out with renewed faith and seek the “dead” who are half living in the world today. Go to those living in the grip of grief, violence, victimization, despair, hopelessness and hurt, and offer comfort, courage and Christ-centered care. Look out with Easter eyes of love and find those caught in the death spiral of addiction, the agony of being devalued and of feeling unwanted and useless, and bring them strength, hope and the promise of companionship. Run with a heart full of joy to bring his message of God’s all-inclusive love and acceptance to all who feel unwelcome in our society. Bring his healing peace, understanding and forgiveness – as Jesus did on Easter day – to those caught up in guilt over sins that haunt their lives or fears that no one understands or is willing to heal their wounds.
I do believe that Christ Jesus now says to us on this Easter day: Go and seek the dead among the living, so that my life, crucified and resurrected, may touch, heal and renew their lives.
pictured: St. Ann's pastor Father Ray Cadran celebrates Mass (photo credit: Peter Yund, East Cobb Photo).