Sunday, April 21, 2019
Resurrection of the Lord
First Reading: Acts 10:34-43
Or Alternate First Reading: Isaiah 65:17-25
Psalm Reading: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Second Reading: I Corinthians 15:19-26
Or Alternate Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43
Gospel Reading: John 20:1-18
Or Alternate Gospel Reading: Luke 24:1-12
The liturgical color for the day is: White
In Luke it is these dazzlingly clothes messengers that ask the women, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
I recall my experience one spring morning while doing a graveside service for a departed saint:
There was something flying around my head. It kept at me. I had to hold myself back from swatting it away. I did not know what it was. It was still there as I said the final prayer and offered the final blessing. I made the sign of the cross and stepped away. And in that instant, it few away.
As I stepped aside, I could feel my own irritation with whatever that flying thing was that had been all around me throughout the service. Before I could barely take a few steps away, family members were rushing in. They were coming to me not to complement me on the splendor of my words on that spring morning. They were asking me, “Did you see it?”
I said nothing, but in my head, I answered: “See what, that irritating thing that was flying around my head and would not leave me alone?” Rather than saying anything I let them go on: “Did you see it? Did you see how that butterfly flew around you the whole time you were doing the service?”
My interior thoughts continued dismissively: “Butterfly? That classic symbol of resurrection here at the grave. I don’t think so. How cliché’.” I dismissed it. But then during the lunch it kept at me. What if? What if? No. More than what if. It was. It was this life flying around my head at the grave.
It was like those two dazzling white transfiguration figures asking, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” I was so focused on the dead that I could not open myself up to the life that was around me—even flying around my head.
That life, that life flying around me—around us—it is the very presence of the resurrected Christ. But we must look for it, open ourselves to it, and allow him to fly in on our living.