By Sister Karen Dunville

“While they [Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary’s mother of James] were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed faces to the ground. They said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he had been raised.’”

—Luke 24: 4-6

Art by Sister Renee Yann

As the heaviness of Good Friday lifts, we hear the story of the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt. From the depths of their fears and anger, they cried out to Moses who did as God instructed. He raised his staff, stretched out his arm and said, “Go forward.” Yes, “go forward,” regardless of fears, regardless of a preference for staying with the known misery.

On Holy Saturday the Apostles were overwhelmed with grief. Recalling the happenings of the previous days made them frightful of what would be next. They were confused and disoriented. How were they to “go forward” without Jesus their beloved leader, their challenging teacher, their role model for change and their friend? Now they hear stories about the women saying he was not in the tomb. What is happening?

Inside the tomb, Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary the mother of James met messengers who said they were looking in the wrong place. They were terrified. They remembered Jesus saying he would die and rise. In amazement and confusion they “go forward.” They share their experience with some doubting Apostles.

Our Mercy community is aspiring to “go forward.” We have cried out our fears and voiced our desires as we struggled with the unknown. Now we need to embrace the Spirit who led the Israelites, empowered the Apostles, and stirred the women. We “go forward” on our Journey of Oneness, one small step at a time into the oneness of all creation.

Sister Karen’s reflection is based on the scripture readings for the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday) and was adapted with permission from the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community’s Lenten 2019 Reflection Booklet.

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