These past two years have been hard times for us all. But perhaps, finally, there are signs of hope. We continue to be grateful for your generosity and support. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be easing up and we are getting back to life as normal. We have been hoping and praying for a breakthrough when we would be free again. But from a faith perspective, isn’t that precisely the Easter story? Sometimes in life there are seemingly insurmountable barriers, walls of stone that are so high and wide that there seems to be no escape.
The Easter Good News asks us to reconsider the stone. On the first Easter morning, according to Mark’s detailed account, when the women disciples approached the tomb, “They were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll back the stone?’ But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had already been rolled back; it was very large.” When they looked in they saw that the tomb was empty! And they were amazed! What happened to those first witnesses and then to the whole Christian community was what we celebrate with praise and thanksgiving as the first moment of Easter.
For a long time I didn’t get it. I just assumed that the reason the angels rolled the big stone away was so that Jesus could get out of that tomb. But the truth I now know is that the stone was not moved away so Jesus could get out. It was so we could see in! Easter is seeing that where we expected to find death there is really new life. Easter is seeing with the eyes of faith, and then meeting the Risen Lord on the road, as the Emmaus story tells us.
This Lenten and Easter season, as the world struggles with so many nearly overwhelming threats to our way of life and our peace of mind we are invited to find a quiet place in our hearts to meditate on the stone. As we wonder who will ever roll away the stone, we may be surprised and amazed to see that in God’s mysterious ways it has already happened. That the Risen Lord walking with us and the Spirit of God will show us the way.
By God’s grace, may this Easter be for all of us a remedy for our failures, a cause for new hope and a transformation into a deeper communion of love. We have been so blessed by God and also by you, our friends.
As you celebrate this Easter season, please prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Christ the King. You can also make your donation online at www.christthekingretreatcenter.org.
God bless you and your loved ones now and always!
Fr. Jim Strommer, CP Natalie Svistoonoff
Director of Ministry Executive Director