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Sep 30th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. April 12, 2009 - Sunday Meditation (Risen but Not Disappeared!)
April 12, 2009 - Sunday Meditation (Risen but Not Disappeared!) PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 10 April 2009 18:55
He has risen, but not disappeared. He has risen from the dead to bring life to the seekers.   It is this “seeking” which is so central to Easter grace. Jesus is the primary seeker and his foundlings are ourselves.

John 20:1-9  (alternate readings: Luke 24:13-35, Mark 16:1-7, and Matthew 28:1-10) 
Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag'dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken  away from the tomb. (2) So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." (3) Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. (4) They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; (5) and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. (6) Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, (7) and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. (8) Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; (9) for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.


M editation by Larry Gillick, S.J.  (Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality)


We have been prayerfully preparing for this celebration for weeks. These more recent days we have been getting up close and personal with the drama of Jesus’ receiving more totally Himself and our human family.
Today we receive the blessings which flow from His fidelity. Preparation is over, the reception is just beginning.


For the next seven weeks, we will hear much of the struggles and growth of the early Christian community. The Acts of the Apostles, written, apparently, by the author of the Gospel of Luke, is a collection of events which form the fallout from the rising from the dead of Jesus. The little groups of believer’s moves out from its birthplace of Jerusalem and begins the extension of Christ’s resurrectional embrace of all creation and all humankind.

The Gospel of Luke portrays Jesus as moving ever so slowly up towards the heights of Jerusalem. The Acts display the Holy Spirit as dispensing God’s grace downward from Jerusalem to spread like “Good news” to the ends of the earth. Jesus’ Easter rising begins the movement by beginning God’s second creation of creation.

We hear in today’s First Reading Peter’s short biography of Jesus. He, Peter, has been summoned by a devout centurion named Cornelius who during his prayer had a vision. He is told to fetch Simon, known as Peter, who will help him understand the vision. Peter arrives and speaks to those assembled the words of today’s First Reading. What Peter speaks is a compilation of the major aspects of his belief in this new way. It is almost a sort of outline, topical sentences of which each one will be developed in later writings and preachings. It is important to note that Peter assumes that everyone has heard all he is saying. It is the author’s method to keep presenting and reminding the readers of the basic “company line”.

Our Easter Gospel is a story of Hide and Go Seek. Mary Magdala goes to the tomb and finds emptiness. The stone has been removed from the burial opening and Jesus is gone. When she informs Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved, they run and find emptiness as well, except they find evidence that Jesus had been there in a burial posture. “Now-you-see-him, now-you-see-him-differently” continues during these Easter days. For us it can seem like a game; for Jesus it is a process of inviting his followers to deeper faith. He seems to hide, then appears, then vanishes and all so that his followers will keep seeking.

It is this “seeking” which is so central to Easter grace. Jesus is the primary seeker and his foundlings are ourselves. He moves through the "Resurrection Narratives" collecting, consoling, confronting, and eventually missioning the early believers, or doubters. In turn, we are the seekers as well. We are invited to keep looking for Jesus, even in the emptinesses of life. Jesus is “translocational”. We would like to grab hold of him, but he would say to us, “Do not cling to me, but go to my new body, my different, but real presence in community, in relationships, and within your own emptinesses”.

C. S. Lewis, in his wonderful book, “ Surprised by Joy” wrotes that real joy is more in the seeking than the finding. We might have trouble with that idea until we live it awhile. What do we find when we find what we have been seeking? Eventually we will find that every answer leads to the next question. Every good and more than wonderful experience, relationship, ecstasy, does end or has certain little holes in them. So there is an empty tomb in all of life’s joys that invites us to “seek” and you shall find. What will we find? We will gracefully discover the invitation to seek some more. Is that a terrible tricky game that that the Divine Magician is playing on us? Maybe!

We are believers because we do not know, but we grow more deeply as humans the more we keep reaching towards, looking for, hungering after, and always in a spirit of gratitude.

Everything ends, including this Reflection and where it ends, Jesus is waiting to find us and be found. He has risen, but not disappeared. He has risen from the dead to bring life to the seekers. I hope you can watch a group of little children at an Easter Egg Hunt and notice their joy is in the looking for and if they find one, they will want to find one more. So again, by little children do we learn basic human truths. Alleluia! 


Supplementary Reading

The Indescribable Gift

If you…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:11

T hough innocent, Jesus received a death sentence. A part of God's plan, it was done to provide a way for us to be redeemed and restored to fellowship with him even though we do not deserve it. We are not innocent, and we deserve a death sentence, but Jesus paid the price for us.

It is as if we were on trial, the jury comes in with a guilty verdict, the judge sentences us to death, and then a man walks into the courtroom and says, "Wait! I will die in this person's place. Let him (or her) go free." You are released and Jesus is taken away to die in your place.

What a gift! It is one that must not be taken lightly or without eternal gratitude. Praise God for his indescribable gift—his Son, Jesus Christ!

* * *

As you go about your day, be mindful of the pardon from sin you received because of Jesus Christ. Humbly thank him for this indescribable gift every time it comes to mind today.

* * *

Note: This excerpt was taken from the "Power for Life Daily Devotional"


PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.

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