Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
What causes you to weep? I’ll tell you what causes me to shed some tears: pleasant surprises.
This morning I read a beautiful article regarding a couple and their disabled child from Rhode Island. Paul and Christina Gondreau of Johnston and their five children were in Rome this past Sunday to attend the Holy Father’s Easter Mass. They expected to see the Pope from a distance. What they never expected to see was the Holy Father kiss and hug their disabled 8-year-old son who was born with cerebral palsy. This wonderful surprise and simple gesture from the Vicar of Christ left the entire family speechless and in tears. It left me in the same state as well.
What a joy! What a blessing! What a gift from God to a family that made the tough choice of embracing unconditional love and allowing it to challenge and surprise them.
Videos and photos of the Holy Father holding young Dominic were transmitted worldwide. Paul Gondreau called the moment “an incredibly moving encounter.” He says his son teaches him daily lessons about how to love. Wow! His son teaches him!
This afternoon, I read a totally different article in which a woman, Ariel Knights, was suing an Ohio abortion clinic over a failed abortion. She ended up delivering a healthy “miracle” baby. So, what is she upset about? Why is she suing? Believe me, I’m not defending this mass-murder mill at all, but she delivered a healthy baby. Shouldn’t this be a cause of great joy! Of celebration! And not of tears!
Knights says she spent her pregnancy in a state of constant fear. “I can’t explain how I felt,” she told the Akron Beacon Journal. “It was just a sense of being overwhelmed, wondering what happened to the baby, wondering what’s happening to me and what did the clinic think they did.” Knights says she considers her daughter her “miracle” baby, saying she does not like to think about what would have happened had the abortion been successful.
She doesn’t like to think about what would have happened…We don’t like to think about what would have happened…And maybe that’s one of reasons why it continues to happen.
We have a tale of two cities, of two women, of two kids and of two lives. But we are all children of the same God, whether or not we know it or want it. And our faith in Jesus Christ brings light to life and life from death.
In life, we weep for two reasons: when faith and hope are lost and when faith and hope rebound. Mary Magdalene wept uncontrollably because she had lost faith and hope in the light of her life. The only thing she had left, and was holding on to for dear life, was her love for Christ. And that was enough for God.
Love conquers all things, especially our fears and doubts. When the Lord appeared to Mary, he swept her off her feet: “Stop holding on to me…” The only thing that helped her to let go was the mission Christ had entrusted to her: “Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Easter is much more than just believing in the Lord’s resurrection. It is about proclaiming it to others.
And both will bring tears to your eyes.
Resolution: To surprise my family and friends with my faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ.