This post is part of a reflective Lenten series, originally published as Facebook posts on my personal account.
Lenten practice, day #40!!
Reference: Matthew 28:1-10
Maybe I’ve just been oblivious my entire life, but I totally didn’t realize that Jesus appeared to the women on their way to tell the disciples about the empty tomb. Everyone knows about the other appearances: the Upper Room, the road to Emmaus, the fish fry (they didn’t call it that), etc. But for whatever reason, I totally don’t remember this one.
But then, maybe that’s telling of all of the miracles that happen around us every day—the little resurrections, the little appearances—that we completely miss. I know I’m certainly oblivious to them. I miss them when I’m too wrapped up in myself, or my stress, or my work, or my own pain. I miss the little pick-me-ups that God is always throwing my way. It doesn’t matter how many of them go way over my head, though, he always sends more. And that’s what’s great about God: he never stops trying, never stops reaching out.
On this Easter vigil, this night before the single most joyous event in the history of mankind, such divine determination is made clear. We look back over centuries and centuries of scriptures and suddenly it’s so obvious how unceasingly God reaches out to his people to pick them back up. It’s so clear how much he LONGS to be with them, to be loved by them, and to love them. Suddenly it’s evident that Easter is the most extravagant, dramatic, and life-infused pick-me-up he’s ever given mankind—and it saves the entire race.
But there don’t have to be (literally) earth-shattering miracles every day. Sometimes they’re smaller, sometimes they’re whispers after a storm. And the miracles, the appearances, don’t have to be the stuff of imagination and fancy and mystics. Just as the women drop at the feet of the resurrected Christ and KISSED them, just as they grasped him and cried tears of joy and paid him homage, the everyday miracles God sends us are often physically there, right in front of us. We’re the ones who fail to see. We’re the guards, sleeping until we realize the gravity of the events in front of us, then practically immobilized by the wonder of it all.
Here, as Lent draws to a glorious close, may we continue to look every day for the miracles that occur all around us. May we strive to see things as Christ sees them—realizing that both the physical and spiritual worlds are essential tenants of our deep faith, and thus miracles occur on both levels. May we grow in virtue from this time of penance and allow the divine to burst forth from every ounce of our being and flood the entire world in God’s extravagance, mercy, and authentic love.
I’d really like to thank those of you who stuck with this Lenten practice and read it day in and day out, and anyone who popped in along the way. I hope that God worked in you through this exercise as much as he worked in me. Please always remember to engage the Scriptures, such an important part of our faith that is often forgotten in Catholic circles—let’s eliminate that stereotype! Happy Easter to you all! Remember that it’s literally the most joyous occasion we can experience on Earth. Jesus becomes the New Adam, and humanity is redeemed. God bless!