Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord

John 20:1-9

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Theresa Rynn

Published: March 27, 2016


I have often thought how lucky I am to have been born in a country where Easter coincides with Spring. The winter waiting is over and all the signs in nature speak of new awakenings, new life, and new hope.

Hope was not very evident as the events of that first Good Friday came to a close. Mary Magdalen and the other women moved into the darkness of grief, exhaustion and emptiness. Through this void of total devastation in a restless night of turmoil and aching pain, they waited in that Great Silence, for what? – some longing and yearning perhaps, for what had been and had passed, some vague sense of mystery beyond the borders of the known and familiar. As the hours passed by, a sense of urgency drove them into the darkness and the pathway towards the tomb. The ‘dark before dawn’ when the world holds its breath before the birth of a new day. Approaching the tomb the darkness gives way to a growing light -- two worlds touch in the wonder of a new dawn.

Then the expected becomes confusion and disbelief. The stone has been rolled away, the tomb is empty, and Jesus is gone! Their shattered world becomes even more shattered and fragmented – thought and speech collide and break into a thousand pieces.

As the women enter into that new darkness, their dawn breaks, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here.”

Mary Magdalen’s love was so great that in that moment, I suspect she knew, without fully realising, or understanding, the reality of the resurrection. In some mysterious way she realised that her Lord would be with her always and would never leave her.

“He must be handed over, be crucified and rise on the third day.” They remembered, they believed.”

With a spring in their steps the women, the first disciples of the resurrection went to proclaim the good news to a waiting world.

Darkness, dawn, resurrection – from death to life -- beautiful symbols for all of us. Symbols for me which often bring to mind those night vigils with the dying. Watching a life ebb away, I am in that place, that ‘no place’ where the veil between this life and what is beyond is almost transparent. After the long dark night, with the breaking dawn the spirit is freed and death becomes life. I am caught up in mystery and like Mary Magdalen, know the reality and power of resurrection.

The ‘death, life cycle’ will be mine one day, but I am invited even now as I move towards the end of these Lenten days to reflect on my own darkness and know the joy of resurrection. My darkness may be a darkness of grief, of rejection, of pain and illness, of lack of hope or joy. Maybe I see my darkness as a nurturing darkness, a darkness of hope and growth – a darkness of discovery, of self-understanding, a darkness of prayer of being drawn more fully into the gifts of the Lord. Whatever my darkness I go into that stillness of the ‘dark before dawn’ and I wait.

“The meaning is in the waiting.”

It is then in an Easter dawning that I know my darkness to be resurrection. I know beyond words or thought that He is alive, He is risen in me! Alleluia! Alleluia!

An Easter Thought
“We are an Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song.”
Do I have the courage to name my darkness?
Do I have the courage to accept Resurrection?

 

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