Watching the processions of the Easter story, looking at the face of Mary holding the body of her son, a crown of thorns on his head and his wounds red with blood. Her face full of agony and grief, not just because her son was dead but because of the way she had seen him die. Jesus – her gift to the world.
Easter day, rejoicing in the risen Lord, trying to identify with the feelings of the disciples when they saw their greatest friend, who they had watched die on the cross. Listening to the message of a chance for new life, healing, a fresh start, a chance to leave behind past sins and disappointment and pain and look to the future full of hope. Jesus’ gift to us.
The story “A Small Miracle” by Paul Gallico adds a challenge. A small boy wants to ask St Frances to heal his donkey who is dying. She is all he has in the world. But before he takes her into the tomb the priest says to him “It is your hope that because of your faith in St Francis he will heal your donkey. But had you thought, perhaps, that he who dearly cared for all God’s creatures might come to love Violetta so greatly that he would wish to have her at his side in Eternity? Will you go to the crypt only to ask, Pipino, or will you also, if necessary, be prepared to give?”
Mary was willing to bear the pain of giving so that God’s purpose might be fulfilled. Jesus was willing to give his life in pain, on the cross, so that we might know God’s love.
We have already received these gifts. Will we be prepared to give too, even if it causes us pain.
Sarah-Jane Bennison – 22-04-09