Life — God’s precious gift! While I reflect on the readings from Holy Week to the third Sunday of Easter, the woods and the fields around our little house are resurrecting once more. This happens every spring. Live returns!
However, it does not arrive without a price. The wild flowers must overcome the cold weather and the winter snow, and even during the first weeks of spring. They survive for months in darkness, and must struggle to break out of the soil where they rest. An suddenly, in March, I see the first white flowers of the "snow drops" and the leaves of the tulips and daffodils and my heart sings joyfully with the birds
Human life likewise does not come without a price. A pregnant woman must wait a long time carrying life in the darkness of her uterus. When it is time to deliver, she goes into intense labor for her child to see daylight — she struggles to "give light", dar a luz, in Spanish.
That is the way for us also during the upcoming weeks. First, we enter Jesus’ passion and death. We accompany him in his suffering, struggle, and darkness, even at times when he feels abandoned. As disciples, we see a Suffering Servant; despised, rejected, punished, disfigured and crucified at the end. What hope of life is there for Jesus, for the disciples, for us?
Suddenly, Easter morning arrives, and Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb … and Jesus is not there! Then, Peter and John arrived — and they remember words said by Jesus that they had not understood…that He would rise from the dead." Could it be that life wins? That Jesus lives? Little by little, the apostles start to believe in the Resurrected. It is a process. Jesus appears among them and brings them "Peace." Thomas is not present, and he does not believe — until Jesus appears again and shows him sis wounds, then Thomas believes. Jesus tells him: "You believe because you have seen me; blessed are those who believe without having seen me." Jesus is talking about us!
The process goes on. In Lucas, we see two very sad disciples, on the way to Emmaus. Jesus gets close to them, but they do not recognize him. They are talking about him, they know a lot about him, they know a lot about the Scriptures, but they still do not understand, and continue to be in darkness. As they walk, Jesus explains the passages that referred to him, and their hearts burn. Then, after arriving at a town, they enter a house, share the bread and their eyes open and they recognize him! Really, life wins. Jesus resurrected!
The Resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our faith. It gives us the promise that we, too, will have new life. And we are not talking about the future only, of eternal life. Rather, "These (words) have been written so we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Believe and you will have life in his name." (John 20, 31)
Oh Jesus, deepen our faith in you, so that we have life in your name.
Gardner is the migrant-ministry coordinator in the northeast region of Monroe County.