Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stop Running - Just Come In

Easter Sunday Year A

In today’s gospel, people are running all over the place. Mary Magdalene runs to the tomb early Easter morning. When she discovers that the stone has been rolled away, she runs back to tell the disciples. Peter and the beloved disciple then both run to cave. The beloved disciples is faster than Peter – perhaps the reason for this is that he is the younger of the two. Peter reaches the tomb a little later and goes in while the beloved disciple remained outside. But when he sees that the tomb is empty, he remains puzzled – he still does not understand. The beloved disciple goes in after Peter, he sees the same thing. But there is a difference. He sees and believes.

Sometimes, we too are running all over the place. Sometimes we run after happiness. We run after wealth. We run after persons whom we hope will eventually become our girlfriends or our boyfriends.

But quite often we are running away from something. After years of marriage, some of us are running away from that man or that woman that we were chasing after while we were dating. We run away from things that make us sad. We run away from pain and suffering. We run away from our fears. We try not to think about things that make us sad by immersing ourselves in work and in other activities. Some people run to Church to get away from their unhappy marriages or from problems in the family. Some people stay late at work in order to run away from the problems that they find at home.

Many of us do not want to look at or think about our problems because it is too painful. But our problems, our pain, and the suffering do not disappear just because we do not think about them. We try to run away from these problems but we cannot run forever.

Today, as we celebrate Easter, the greatest feast day of the Church, God invites us to come home. We are invited to take a good look into the empty tomb. We are asked to confront our deepest fear, to look at our problems, to face the pain of broken relationships because if we look deep enough, we too may “see and believe.” We can look at our problems with the eyes of Peter and see the absence of God, the absence of Jesus. On the other hand, we can look at our problems and sufferings with the eyes of the beloved disciple and recognize the presence of God even in his absence.

If we stay away from the people who hurt us, our relationships will never be healed. But if we have to courage to face our deepest fears, if we have the courage to return to our broken relationships and to remember them, we will be healed and set free. We will be surprised by the miracle of the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene, Peter and the beloved disciple went to the tomb expecting to be reminded of the death of Jesus. But on their arrival, they were surprised by life – the life of the resurrection.

When we are able to face the tombs of our lives, we too will be surprised by God. This God who raised Jesus from the dead will raised us up from the tombs of our pain, suffering and fears. May you find healing and liberation on this Easter Day.

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