Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.
He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"
When it came to perceiving the reality of Christ's death and resurrection this Easter, many of us, unfortunatey, resemble the hunter in this story. We did not grasp the significance of the event nor its implications.
But we are now ready to celebrate 50 days of resurrection time and to party. Who needs a reason? What we may have missed was going into the quite of the tomb on Holy Saturday and spending time longing for the return of Jesus, like Mary Magdalene did.
Did we bother going to the empty tomb Easter morning to seek the resurrection experience?
The ironical truth is that there is enough evil, unforgiveness, hatred, infidelity, and dare I say it, despair, in our everyday lives to make daily resurrections a practical necessity. We need Christ to lift us up frequently so we can enjoy the Easter hope and the presence of the Holy Spirit working in us.
In "The Resurrection as Vindicating Human Fidelity and God's Silence" author Ron Rolheiser says: "God doesn't necessarily rescue us from the effects of evil, or even from death. Evil does what it does; natural disasters are what they are God lets his loved ones suffer and die, just as Jesus let his dear friend, Lazarus, die and God let Jesus die. God redeems, raises us up afterwards, in a deeper more lasting vindication."
In the end, Rolheiser says, "love does triumph over hatred. Peace does triumph over chaos. Forgiveness does triumph over bitterness. Hope does triumph over cynicism. Fidelity does triumph over despair. Virtue does triumph over sin. Conscience does triumph over callousness. Life does triumph over death. And good does triumph over evil, always."
As we leave the Easter event this year, may we travel with that resurrection hope that we can enjoy daily resurrections over the ills of this world that will never triumph over the life Jesus came to give us.
Let the Alleluias ring out our praises to God as we bask in the Son's light.