… and she saw that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb…

We live in a time when we are always in a hurry and nervous, because life is going very fast and we are unable to catch up with what we should or would like to do. Somehow, we often focus only on ourselves and our well-being, comfort, health, and only on what I need first and maybe my family. We do not know, and maybe we do not want to look a little further, beyond the horizon of our selfishness and needs. And I do not think it’s just because we’ve been plagued by a pandemic for some time now. We have to keep distance and space, and it is true that the situation we experience affects our thinking, behavior and actions. But it is sad to watch people travel to work without interest and without noticing what is happening around them; without smiling at who joins them on the bus or train. It seems to me that in our society, our families and communities, there is a kind of indifference to what is happening around us, to the people we meet and, unfortunately, to our loved ones and those we live with.

We may want to ask ourselves; Why is that so? Why don’t we look and see with the eyes of the heart anymore? Why don’t we see the world, situations and people through the eyes of God?

Perhaps one of the many answers could be the Gospel of St. John, which we heard  on the Sunday of the Resurrection. In the twentieth chapter, the evangelist tells us the story of Mary Magdalene, who came to the grave in the dark. Darkness was not only around her, but also in her heart, because it was full of sadness. Suddenly, she saw that the stone was rolled away from the grave. At first, she thought that the body of Christ had probably been stolen or taken away and immediately, she ran to share what she saw with the apostles.

I think Mary’s reaction is the key to my answer. We too are often blinded by our own problems, worries, ourselves, so we do not see the light and the solution or the way out of our situations. Darkness, sadness, insecurity, loneliness, self-pity, bitterness, anger, resentment, hatred, desire for revenge, indifference, distrust, depression, fatigue, as well as the inability to love and forgive; all these paralyze us and inhibit us to see, God’s action in the stone that was rolled away.

The author of the gospel, speaking of- a rolled stone, used a verb that means “remove / eliminate / take away.” The same verb is used at the beginning of the Gospel, in John 1:29, where John the Baptist refers to Jesus as “the Lamb who removes / eliminates the sins of the world.” Perhaps the evangelist wanted to remind us of the fact that this stone “removed” from the tomb is a symbol, a challenge and a hope. It is, in fact, Christ himself who wants to enlighten our hearts with his Resurrection and wants to help us roll away all our stones, worries, problems.

May the Risen Christ open the eyes of our hearts, that we may be able to see, even in darkness, in difficulties or suffering, in every life situation, that God works through everything and in everything. And may He give us the strength to share with his light, joy and peace always and with all!

Happy and Blessed Season of Easter!

By Sr. Katarina Pavelova SSpS