Another lost body

Japanese text follows English.

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved.

John 20:1-2

How many women are looking for lost bodies today? Bodies of husbands, parents, children, loved ones? How many women, in Ukraine, or parts of the Middle East, or Myanmar, are scraping through rubble, not even knowing whether their loved ones are entombed there, not knowing whether they are living or dead? And how many of those women run to get help from men, but find them too busy or preoccupied with fighting to help them? I imagine there is not much time to worry about the dead when you are fighting a war.

In the ancient world, war and violence and slavery were the norm, and peace was the rare exception. This is still true for the majority of humanity today, though it’s easy for us in developed countries to forget that. The emptiness of death has been far closer to most people than it is to us. And so, we find our emptiness elsewhere, in life instead of death. We try to fill the emptiness with glowing screens and mindless games, but in the end, we find that these things are empty too. Deep down none of us is really convinced. We know that we live on the brink of emptiness, and we are afraid.

And yet, about 2000 years ago, in a small and insignificant corner of the Roman Empire, amidst the tumult of a guerrilla uprising, from the tomb of an executed criminal a rose a Lord who proclaimed peace: a Lord who professed God loves the world so much that he would make even the emptiness of death overflow with the fullness of eternal life. And the first person he appeared to was a woman, Mary Magdalene.

There were those who denied that he had risen: those for whom a dead criminal should just have stayed dead, and let them get on with the real men’s work of war and resistance. But those who saw him were so convinced that many of them, including Peter, faced execution rather then denying what they had seen. Confronted with the empty tomb at Easter, we too have a choice: between emptiness and fullness.

The choice comes down to this: whom do we trust?








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