Mary goes to the tomb while it is still dark – the darkness of the day and the darkness of her sorrow. Mary goes to the tomb with her grief, to be in a place of mourning and of remembering. She goes to a holy space to sit with her sorrow, her confusion, and her fears. Perhaps we can all identify with Mary. All around us and within us there is sorrow, confusion, and fear. Death and destruction from the war on Ukraine, ongoing gun violence in our nation, concerns about the economy, racism and white supremacy, the never-ending COVID pandemic, and the reality of our own sinfulness – there is much to grieve. Perhaps we, like Mary, go to our traditional places of mourning looking for comfort or release. Yet what Mary finds is beyond her hopes and expectations! “Mary”, the Lord calls, and her whole life turns to the Risen Lord. Turning to the resurrection, turning to new life in Christ.
Into our sadness, the Lord calls us by name with a voice that is familiar and unexpectedly powerful. Powerful in its speaking and in our hearing it. To know that each one of us is called by name in love and hope by the resurrected Lord can take our breath away! And at the same time, it gives us a new breath, a new life, a new orientation towards all that has been, all that is, and all that can be.
Calling each of us by name, Jesus calls us together into his community to be a Resurrection people for a world that needs and longs for the truth of life over death. God calls each of us by our individual names because he needs each one of us to be about Christ’s resurrection work. This is not a moment for “not me” but a moment for “here I am Lord.” God has offered us new life in Jesus. May we each, with our individual and God-given gifts, and as the Church united, proclaim Christ’s new life to the world.
Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan