Monday, April 25, 2011

This Easter Monday...

I'm pondering a thought brought to my attention by A Catholic Mom in Hawaii, a quotation:
Jesus had many witnesses of His failures, but none at His crowning success. His loneliest moment was His triumphal resurrection. He was a success first of all before God--the only worthwhile success.
Haven't you ever wondered at the fact that Jesus' resurrection was not a more public affair? That Jesus kept popping up discreetly, almost secretly--so much so that many of his closest companions, whom he had told what he was doing, had difficulty believing what was going on? And here he is, after all the pain and horror of Friday, gloriously alive--in the dark of night (or, at best, in a twilight), alone, except that the Father is always with him. I wonder how much he and the Father were especially united at that moment (just as I wonder to what degree Jesus could have been separated from his Father in death). Surely, at the instant when the Father raised him up, there must have been some exquisite experience of union, though there must have been some degree of separation that still lingered as long as he was on earth...

So, Jesus was not alone. And yet, those whom he had loved on this earth, whom he had walked with, eaten with, wept with, taught, fed, reprimanded, healed, and suffered for--they were'nt there. Even the one who best loved and understood him, who bore him up in everything she could, was not there to see him complete his victory over death. They weren't there to see his glory and dance for wonder and wild joy, they weren't there for him to hear him say, "See! This is what I meant all along!" Reunions would have to wait for the quiet, cataclysmic moments as in the locked room and on the way to Emmaus. Even that morning, with Mary Madgalene, would have an element of reserve. "Don't touch me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father..." Returning to his Father would be his final triumph.

This moment, for me, has a symmetry with the moment of the Incarnation. God the Son, existing in perfect and complete love with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, having no need for our love, nevertheless humbles himself out of boundless love for us to become man. Then, at his Resurrection, after living intimately with us for a lifetime, including years of public ministry, and only then completing his mission of suffering and death for our sake, he is raised in glory, with none of his friends and loved ones to share his joy--except the Father and the Spirit, beyond whom he needs no one.

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