The following story appeared in the April 8 Idaho Catholic Register.
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?”
These are the words the two men in dazzling garments spoke inside the empty tomb to the three women who went to prepare the body of Jesus following His crucifixion on Easter Sunday morning. What amazing news spoken to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James. When the women, in turn, went to tell the Apostles what they had heard, the Apostles did not believe them. Their story seemed like nonsense. However, something about the transformation seen in these women told Peter to get up and check out the story for himself.
For the most dramatic event in all of human history, this sure seemed to be a strange beginning to the revelation of Jesus Christ risen from the dead.
Amazing words these are: “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but He has been raised.” Those who followed Jesus knew He had been put to death on the cross. There was no doubt about it, Jesus was put to death. He died. All of the close followers knew he had been buried in a tomb just two days prior. And now they hear these two sentences as the first pronouncement of a life-changing event for the entire world throughout all time, and begin to grasp it for themselves. The question that would naturally follow would be, “Then, where does one seek to find the living Jesus?” The implied answer given in the words, “He has been raised” would suggest He is among you. But, where?
My brothers and sisters, the Easter season is filled with stories of Christ among us as told throughout the New Testament. The transformation seen in the lives of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles gives witness to a powerful movement of change: from cowards to courageous men; from questioning Jesus’ ability to make a difference in the world; to their making a dramatic difference in the lives of those they touched. These disciples began to boldly proclaim the message of Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God who gave His life for the salvation of the world.
These men and women, these followers of Christ, give testimony of His presence by the powerful transformation that had taken place in their own lives. Now they begin to make a significant difference in the lives of others by their witness.
If you want to find Jesus, look for Him, the living one, among the living. For centuries, the truth has been known that Jesus is alive, moving in and through the lives of those who have searched and welcomed him into their lives. He makes all things new! This Breath of God – His Spirit – will transform lives on earth and will bring eternal life for those who believe.
If we seek the Living God, we will find Him. When we find Him, He reveals Himself more fully to us. His is often a subtle presence, but an undeniably living presence that changes the order of our lives. He becomes the One for which we ultimately live.
It’s begun! We now see among the living, another life given to us that makes our lives much richer, more purposeful and powerful because the acts and actions of Our Lord are now working from within.
Perhaps this Easter season we can hear the stories told in the Sacred Scriptures anew. When we search for the Lord’s presence in our lives, may we search for Him in the everyday moments – not just in what we’ve heard in the past, but in our lived reality. Our prayer should be: “Lord, where would you have me search for you? Give me the clarity of sight to see you, not in the darkness of that which seems dead from my past, but in the light of your dwelling among the living now; you dwelling within me. For you have shared your true identity with each of us as we refer to you since our beginning as Emmanuel – God with us!”
Happy Easter! He is Risen from the dead just as He said he would do. He now lives among me, as He lives among you!
Bishop Peter Christensen
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