Dear Jesus, I can see and hear Mary Magdalene and the two Emmaus bound disciples being pushed aside by the Disciples. To their excited report, "We’ve seen Him. He has risen from the dead," they hear, "You’ve got to be kidding. Jesus was killed. He was buried. That’s that."
What a sad moment for me in Mark’s account to see You appear to the Disciples and scold them for their hardness of heart and refusal to believe. Once again, You expose the Disciples, stretch them to the big picture: "Go now into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel, the good news, to every creature."
What is so refreshing, Jesus, is that Peter, James and John, and the whole group will finally unlock the door of the Upper Room. There will emerge a group of people who move beyond their fears and are willing to a person to lay down their lives for their belief.
Jesus, during this Easter season of 2009 be with us as we allow the depth and consequences of what Your love embodies to grow within us. Don’t let me or any of us go backwards. It is today, this year as it continues to unravel that the consequences of my love, our love for You, for one another, and for our individual selves that will reveal the depth of who I/we are.
How easy it would be if I/we could just automatically have this happen. The awesome truth is that we have the challenge to continue in light of Your life, death and resurrection to grow.
I want to close this reflection with a quote from the Vatican II document on the Church. It is so appropriate!
"The Church, ‘like a stranger in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God,’ announcing the cross and death of the Lord until he comes (cf. 1 Cor. 11:26). But by the power of the risen Lord she is given strength to overcome, in patience and in love, her sorrows and her difficulties, both those that are from within and those that are from without, so that she may reveal in the world, faithfully, however darkly, the mystery of her Lord until, in the consummation, it shall be manifested in full light." [Dogmatic Constitution on the Church – Lumen Gentium, Chapter1, paragraph 8].
Fr. Peter Berendt, C.P. is on the staff of Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center, Houston, Texas.