glimpses of hope
to those who read this reflection: a graced easter day and season! we all need the message of joy and hope in this time of fear and uncertainty. these are all part of God’s love; today we give thanks for these gifts. the gospel for today’s mass is from john 20: 1-19. i have certainly prepared easter homilies before and have certainly mentioned joy and hope in these past reflections. but nowhere in today’s biblical text is joy or hope explicitly mentioned! can we really celebrate easter without joyful hope? does hopeful joy come from a different place? misunderstanding is common in the book of john so it is no surprise that we see it in today’s reading. mary of magdala assumed that someone had taken jesus’ body and placed it somewhere other than the tomb. jesus is no longer where she thought him to be. she wants to be where he was but his body is no longer there. mary shares this news to peter and the disciple that jesus loved. to believe is another common theme that we see today. it comes after three steps for the two disciples: running to the tomb to see for themselves; peering inside; then, entering to see the burial cloths in an empty tomb. (these three steps can be a whole retreat!). after they do these steps, the beloved “sees and believes”. believing in the biblical sense is not primarily about what we know in our heads but how we give our hearts. their hearts were changed from seeing burial cloths and they did not understand that jesus had to rise from the dead. to me, this is comforting: through partial glimpses, our faith is strengthened. an empty tomb and burial cloths were what helped mary magdalene, peter and the beloved. perhaps this is what t.s. eliot refers to as “hints and guesses” toward really knowing christ’s being in the flesh among us. jesus is not dead– jesus is risen. where are our partial glimpses today? in this time of coronavirus, covid-19, fear, uncertainty, lost jobs, lockdown-stress and death, we long for graces that come from our faith– even through the misunderstandings and partial glimpses. this past days have offered us all a very different way to celebrate holy week and easter. the Spirit stirs our hearts in new ways in these heavy crosses that we bear. but good friday did not last forever. this is a new day where glimpses can give us a new faith. joy and hope still break through our obscured vision. we can dare to love even with an imperfect faith. i pray that we all receive grace that strengthens our hearts in love. i ask st mary magdelene and st peter’s intercession that we all continue to believe that we are beloved disciples in beloved community.
That glimmer of hope is what sparks our spirit to embrace the True Light that illumines our path with expectant faith and unquenchable thirst for love. Happy Easter, Fr. Art.
beautifully stated sara! may God’s grace always warm your heart
Glimpses of Hope will always be our path to deepen our Faith and find God’s Glory to all of us. Thank you Fr. Art for the inspiring message. God be with you and Be safe always.
God bless you always and in all ways these!!