Where is the Lord?
On Easter Sunday we read from the gospel of John the account of Mary Magdalene finding the empty tomb. She was one of the ones who had stayed close to Jesus during his Passion, even when most others, including the Apostles, had fled. But because of the coming sabbath they had not had time to fully anoint Jesus’ body for burial, so in the early morning hours on the day after the sabbath, Mary came to the tomb so she could finish properly anointing his body. Even in death, Mary simply wanted to be close to Jesus and to give him this loving service. That’s why she was so upset when she found the tomb empty. She didn’t know where the Lord was.
This gospel passage is so moving to me because Mary gives us such a powerful model to follow. Like her, we should desire to be close to Jesus, no matter what, to love and to serve him.
But of course Jesus is no longer in the tomb. He has risen from the dead and is glorified. So if we want to be close to Jesus, where can we find him? Where can we go to anoint his sacred body? Well, the Body of Christ is the Church. Members of the Church are members of his Body, so we should love and serve one another with the same reverence we would have for Christ.
Jesus is also present in the poor, in the oppressed, in the downtrodden. Whatever you do for these, you do for me, he says. So we cannot claim to truly serve Christ if we ignore those in need.
And of course Christ is present in the scriptures, where we hear his voice, and he is present in the sacraments, where we can worship and adore him.
In all of these ways the Risen Christ is present in the world. Let us, like Mary Magdalene, strive always to be where he is, even amidst fear and darkness, and rejoice in the glory of the Risen Lord. Happy Easter!