A month ago, I reflected on how Jesus listens when grievers invite him to “come and see” death, despair, sadness, etc. when Lazarus died. I had a threefold hope then: “to be inspired by this truth and invite the Lord more frequently to come and see in our lives; that we might have open hearts and minds to accept the invitation to come and see God indwelling in others, both through knowing their sorrows and their joys; and that we might take the risk to invite others to come and see us as we are, and recognize that God’s love is already with us just where we are.”
On this side of Easter, I revisited that reflection—and would like to add that I hope we hold the hope and reality of the resurrection in our hearts. That is to say, I hope we might reflect on the exhortation to leave the tomb and to come into life.
During this Easter time, we rejoice and celebrate new life. The seasons naturally coax us to turn our mind to this through green, through warmth (eventually), through new life. Perhaps one of the things to take seriously to prayer, though, is how we are called to leave the tomb.
Holy Saturday day can be fraught with Easter preparations, blessings, and the like, which are all wonderful—but it has its own quality and character of stillness and waiting. We who are baptized are immersed into Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. On Holy Saturday, we can experience the stillness of being in the tomb. It’s not something we generally reflect on.
Perhaps, though, during this time of celebration, we could take time to reflect on what Jesus is calling us to and from. He calls us to that life abundant we hear about in John (and the Saint Anne mission statement). He calls us from the tomb. More than simply an exhortation to find your bliss or (as Disney says) “let it go”, the resurrection is a beckoning for us to trust in a God whose imagination is beyond our own, walk according to God’s way, and encounter newness of life even in the midst of death and loss.
In the midst of painful hurt and grief, of fear of failure or rejection or loss, of insecurity, of loneliness…in the midst of all of this, we are called to discern when God is calling us to walk into the warmth of the Easter day. In many ways, we live and proclaim the Good News of the Resurrection in our words and deeds through our lives, but we also have moments of retreating to the tomb. Christ lovingly, gently, patiently beckons us to leave the chill and darkness of winter and death and walk into the spring day that heralds news life.
May the Easter season truly be one that leads us more fully into that life abundant that we are called to live with God and with one another.