My Beloved Good People,
The Lord is risen. Alleluia.
If we take the time to read the story of the Resurrection in all four Gospels, we are amazed at the different stories we hear. All four have varied accounts of what happened early that first Easter morning. One seems to contradict another. Read a third Gospel account and find the order of events very different from John’s. And Mark? You might think he couldn’t make up his mind exactly what to say so he tells the story much as a child would—(with all due respect, Dear St. Mark!)—with several accounts one after the other that couldn’t possibly have happened quite the way he describes them: Jesus was here; he went there; an angel spoke to them; Jesus spoke to them; they were afraid; they were overjoyed. We want to say to the Evangelists, Wait a minute! Let’s start over. Now what happened first? If we are looking for historical fact surrounding the Resurrection, we will be confused by the Gospel writers. What does that mean?
Let’s consider what it must have been like for the apostles. Imagine the apostles wanting to hear the story of the death of Jesus from John, the only one who was present on Calvary. I wonder, given the sheer dreadfulness of it, if he was able to speak coherently at all about what happened that Friday. What terror they must have been feeling. They have lost the One they loved, and so tragically. Now, on Sunday, there are stories that He is alive! We can take this so casually since most of us have heard the story of the Resurrection since childhood. But can we imagine what it must have sounded like to the apostles? Is this a lie? It’s too good to be true! It just can’t be! We have to go find out for ourselves, but what if it’s a trap set by the Roman soldiers? Or the high priests? Do we dare NOT believe? We failed Him on Calvary. We can’t fail Him again! But what if? If only…. There must have been chaos in that Upper Room.
Was Mary of Nazareth there to be the Voice of reason, to convince them of the truth, or was Jesus at His Mother’s Home, embracing her in a heart-wrenching reunion of love after the agony of Good Friday? There is so much of the unknowable surrounding the Resurrection.
But this is what I know: I know that it doesn’t really matter what happened first, or last, or in between, that morning. I know that the Gospels aren’t meant to be a news report. I know that everyone was incredibly excited, or confused, or afraid. And I know that Jesus of Nazareth lived a beautiful life, died an agonizing death, and truly rose on the third day, all because He is hopelessly in love with us and hopes that we will love Him hopelessly in return.
What I don’t know is this: I don’t know what would have become of me if Jesus hadn’t come to save me, or where I would be now, or how I could get up in the morning every day, or who I would have ever given my heart to.
Please stand up if you feel the same way,
and sing Alleluia To the Son of God.
God bless you, my dear, dear Friends.
Have a wonderful Easter.