Vocation Meditation: Darkness and Love

posted Apr 4, 2012, 2:12 PM by St. Joseph Cheyenne
After they hurriedly buried Jesus and closed the tomb, the disciples made haste to gather in the upper room for the Sabbath, a day on which it would not be possible for them to visit the tomb and embalm Jesus. How was that long, most probably sleepless night, and the equally long day and night that followed? They were left with vivid memories made bitter by their dashed hopes. It must have been a terrible night followed by an equally terrible day and night. Perhaps in their hearts they repeated Jesus’ words from the cross, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” However, at those times we have much more to go on than the apostles and disciples, perhaps we will never touch bottom or be tested like they were at that time. We must admire these disciples, chosen by Christ, for the trials they suffered. Whatever else might have been shattered or damaged—their faith, their hope— one characteristic of their following remains intact: their love. It is their love that draws them back to the tomb at the earliest opportunity. Their attachment to Jesus is intense, personal and driving. After their sleepless nights and their observance of the Sabbath rest, they just had to go to the tomb, some slightly earlier than the others, to express their “hopeless love” for Jesus, for in their eyes there was nothing He could do for them now and it was all about what they could do for Him even though He was dead. The depth of this human bond of love is moving. It can console us too when the reality of death strikes someone we love, for it reminds us that everyone who dies, dies only in the body, while his soul is eternal and awaits the resurrection to be reunited with his body. We pray for that soul, for the pardon on mercy of Christ who died for him so that he can enter into rest with the same Christ. Jesus rewards his disciples’ love with the gift of himself. Whoever seeks finds, but like the women sometimes we seek in the wrong place, and then He Himself comes out to meet us or sends those who can lead us to the true answer to our prayers. Sometimes like them we seek too little: they went out to look for the dead body of Jesus and the consolation of expressing their love for Him in some way by embalming Him and giving Him a proper burial, and what God wanted to give them instead was the living Jesus, the Conqueror of sin and death, free from the corruption of the tomb. Much of our struggle in our Christian life consists in enlarging our hearts and souls to receive the greater gifts that God wants to give us, growing beyond our own small ideas of happiness and fruitfulness.