Sunday, April 16
Rev. J. Daniel Mindling OFM Cap.
Seminary Academic Dean
Missing In Action
“I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” -Matthew 28:6
A young pilot named Frank was shot down and crash-landed in the Pacific. Others in his squadron saw him and his crew climb out, standing on the wing waving their arms. A rescue vessel was dispatched. It arrived hours later. They found nothing. Nothing at all. No rescue. They never recovered Frank’s body. His older brother told me the story many years later. Frank’s mother’s faint hope that he had been picked up by an enemy sub gave way to empty sadness. No body. No closure. A rubbing of Frank’s name from the monument to the missing in action was all that remained. But Easter sustained that family. They had no body, no funeral, but they believed. They were raised up by Jesus’ resurrection. Today’s Gospel tells us about mourners who sought a body to grieve over. They found no body. Easter faith does not deny the horror or the memory of death. Easter wipes away tears. Today the women went to the tomb overwhelmed, and left it overjoyed. All you who have journeyed this past week through the betrayal, the torture, the death and burial of Jesus, come to the empty tomb with me, these women invite you today. Do you have a loss, has death touched you, does sadness and confusion fill your heart? Come to the empty tomb with me. Has the death of sin-scarred you, has carrying the cross overwhelmed you, has hopelessness overwhelmed you? Come to the empty tomb with me.
O Lord, I am here at Your empty tomb. Today give me joy as a light to dispel whatever darkness shades my world, my country, my city, my family, my heart. O Lord, I am here at Your empty tomb. Send me forth restored, filled with hope, and overjoyed. Amen.
Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 Col 3:1-4 Mt 28:1-10