Monday, 30 April 2012

Step Six - the last place you look

GospelJohn 10:1-10 

Jesus said: ‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’
  Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.
  So Jesus spoke to them again:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
I am the gate of the sheepfold.
All others who have come
are thieves and brigands;
but the sheep took no notice of them.
I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through me will be safe:
he will go freely in and out
and be sure of finding pasture.
The thief comes
only to steal and kill and destroy.
I have come
so that they may have life and have it to the full.’

Step Six - Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

How often God is in the last place we look. 

In the desire to fix ourselves how often we do listen to the voices of thieves and brigands - voices that often come from within ourselves. Stealing away our integrity; robbing us of our dignity. 

But now we know our help; our shepherd is near; we keep watch. Huddled in the safe  refuge of prayer and contemplation we strain for the sound of our name being called by the One who loves us. Waiting for the touch of his hand to ease our hurts; to tease out the thorns and splinters of our wounds. To bring us to green pasture and the water of everlasting life. 

Step Six Prayer
Dear God,I am ready for Your help 
        In removing from me the defects of character
        Which I now realize are an obstacle to my recovery.
        Help me to continue being honest with myself
       Guide me toward spiritual and mental health.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Step Five - Super Shepherd

GospelJohn 10:11-18 

Jesus said:
‘I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The hired man, since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep and runs away
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;
this is because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
‘I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
And there are other sheep I have
that are not of this fold,
and these I have to lead as well.
They too will listen to my voice,
and there will be only one flock,
and one shepherd.
‘The Father loves me,
because I lay down my life
in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me;
I lay it down of my own free will,
and as it is in my power to lay it down,
so it is in my power to take it up again;
and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’

Step Five -  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
I think have admitted my love of comic book heroes once before; particularly the post war mythic heroes of Marvel and DC; so it was with enormous pleasure that I spent a couple of hours this evening watching the new Avengers Assemble film

 - storyline more or less that a few disparate humans with various (and variously welcome) gifts and talents plus 'good' demi-god Thor of Asgard take on a less than good demi-god Loki (Thor's adopted brother) and the usual onslaught of invading aliens -

with  no thought of either the Steps or the Gospel in my head until someone mentioned it. So whilst they are probably fast asleep in bed here am I; making a link. 

In the film, Loki comes to Earth with the belief that humans want to be subjugated; that freedom is a gift we run away from. St Paul speaks often of the risk of getting confused about who we are; who we are following. It is easy to give our freedom away; to be distracted by charisma or the persona of either an individual or an idea that seems 'ideal'. 

The world has its way of charming us into feeling safe; confident; superior. It is easy to choose your god by picking the one that has the same prejudices that you do. It is easy to follow a worldview that concentrates on ego; on nationalism; on ambition and to huddle with like-minded people in sheep-pens of isolation and self-satisfaction. 

The institutions and individuals that demand loyalty under these terms are like the hired hands; interested, ultimately, in the profits that line their pockets - whether that is finance, oppression or the desire for more of what they have on offer. Likely to bolt for the next universe when it all starts going wrong.

When a comment is made about the god, Thor, the thoroughly decent Captain America replies ' there is only one God, and he doesn't look like that.'

God doesn't look like any of the above; Jesus is the the face of the truly all-loving Father; he is the Good Shepherd. It is him that is loyal; his life that is on offer and his voice that we are drawn to.

As the characters in the film eventually realise that their own egocentric desires stand in the way of freedom and fellowship we are asked to let go of what ties us to our shame, our refusal to change, our inertia.  As John makes abundantly clear, Jesus does not have a spear of destiny in his hand; he is not out to charm you; to coerce you; to subjugate you. 

He calls and asks that you follow. In the freedom of following,  you will find yourself being walked beside, walking beside brothers and sisters; eventually you will be sent to seek out others who are lost. To walk beside them; to bring them home.

Like the Avengers, we can become heroes. There are many people crying out to be heard; to be understood; to be found. In laying down his life Jesus passes his Spirit to us as a gift for others. With Jesus we are superhuman; we are extraordinary. We are channels of peace; agents of reconciliation;  pardoners and lovers. 

So much so that one day (and this is as good a tag line as you are ever going to get) 
'there will be only One.'

Higher Power,
My inventory has shown me who I am,
Yet I ask for Your help
In admitting my wrongs to another person and  to You.
Assure me, and be with me,
For without this surrender I cannot come to you.
With Your help, I can.


Step Four - Mirror, mirror

Gospel of John 6:60-69

After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?
‘It is the spirit that gives life,
the flesh has nothing to offer.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit
and they are life.
‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.
  Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’

Step Four- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

How much the truth can hurt; often we console ourselves with the belief that there is nothing we can do; that that is the way we are; that it is others that are wrong. A million excuses can come to mind to remove the need to look in the mirror in the cold light of honesty. 

At some time before Jesus,  Simon Peter, a man of business; a family man; a man of authority. must have imagined that he had all the answers; that he was a man to be reckoned with. 

And then Jesus looks him  in the eye; mirrors all his  faults back to him; and then, even after the betrayal,  tells him  that there is no-one he loves more - no-one he trusts more.   

Knowing this - have the confidence to look in the mirror yourself. To see without fear all that has gone before; to name it and to see the precious as well as the shameful. 

To give yourself up to the Love that knows you and loves anyway.

Dear God,
This is my life and all that is in it
My mistakes are mine 
I will begin a searching and fearless inventory of my heart.
I will write down my wrongs
But I will also include that which is good.
I pray for the strength to complete the task


Friday, 27 April 2012

Step Three - God-incidence

Gospelof John 6:52-59 

The Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’
He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue.

Step Three - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God (as I understood him).

There are many ways to read Scripture; some are more directed than others. What always inspires me that the Word 'speaks' - it always manages to be personal; to be appropriate; to be 'for me'. The serendipity of deciding to link daily readings to the Steps results in today's Gospel. God-incidence indeed.

I offer myself to Thee
To build with me; to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
That victory over them may bear witness
To those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy love and Thy way of life,
May I do Thy will always!


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Step Two - Back to Life

GospelJohn 6:44-51 

Jesus said to the crowd:
‘No one can come to me
unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me,
and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They will all be taught by God,
and to hear the teaching of the Father,
and learn from it,
is to come to me.
Not that anybody has seen the Father,
except the one who comes from God:
he has seen the Father.
I tell you most solemnly,
everybody who believes has eternal life.
‘I am the bread of life.
Your fathers ate the manna in the desert
and they are dead;
but this is the bread that comes down from heaven,
so that a man may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,
for the life of the world.’

Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

To be in any kind of distress is a terrible thing and, often, a more terrible thing to admit. 

Our desperate need for God can be disguised in many ways making it hard enough to acknowledge. When we do,  it opens our eyes to the equally desperate measures we have been taking in our desire to feel happy and loved. 

Too often, our first reaction is the world's reaction - to have what we deserve; to be rewarded; to be consoled.

There is a God-shaped hole in each of us but we often begin by filling it up with 'stuff'.

It is the desire of the Rich Young Man, who spends his life buying what is good to make him look good; to make him feel good.

Then- being 'good' gives us permission to reward ourselves for being good. 

And when things go wrong, we deserve to be consoled, to be compensated and to be allowed to go off the rails 'a little bit'. And still we believe that we are being 'good'. And even that we can push the good life into eternity  - because, after all, who is going to stop us.

Life becomes a shopping channel of 'all about me'; a need for stuff. Stuff goes stale, collects dust and clogs up the pathways to the light. The luxuries take more than they give; they make their judgements on you; there is no peace of mind. Even once you have realised the truth; turning it around is not going to be easy.

When we accept our powerlessness we  remember where the real consolation comes from; where hope abounds; where Love lives. It gets easier to let go; to recognise what we need instead of what we want. 

What we need to bring us back to ourselves is God's life within us - Jesus gives himself to us not as a luxury; not as a reward; not even as a consolation but as a basic need - the Bread of Life. Let the Godspace be filled with him. 

Second Step Prayer

Heavenly Father, I am full of fear. I am unhappy. I can’t seem to be of real help to others. I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity if I am just willing to stop doubting your power. I humbly ask that you help me to understand that it is more powerful to believe than not to believe and that you are either everything or nothing. 


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Step One -no cover-up

GospelMark 16:15-20 

Jesus showed himself to the Eleven, and said to them: ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’
  And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.

Step One; Admitted we were powerless and that our lives were unmanageable....

In the last post some of my thinking processes had brought me back to the practice of the Twelve Step programme as a guide to growth and healing in the spiritual life.

Looking back to last year, I decided to do this at the beginning of May but about the same time from Easter; how strange. Shouldn't I be filled with the joy and power of the Resurrection instead of retaining the fear and anticipation of the Easter garden?

Last year I wondered if the Gospel would provide a connection for each over the Steps over twelve days and took this on as a challenge. This year I am taking it as a journey - perhaps I have already learned something?

It seemed that the feast of Mark the Evangelist would be a good day to start; especially as this year it is his Gospel that has lead us to the Risen Christ.  When we began studying Mark in Scripture group our first impressions was that it was a Gospel where Love overcomes fear but only through hard work. 

The Twelve Steps are 'worked'; they are not easy; they are not meant to be. They challenge all the denials and excuses of the ego; and if it doesn't work the first time they do it again and again - if you are willing. Mark's Gospel takes Jesus, and us, down a similar, stark path; more wounds to heal, more demons to cast aside, more diversions to make - Jesus does not climb a ladder to the cross.

The only time Jesus puts himself on a pedestal is when he rides the donkey into Jerusalem and it makes him a target for those who would see him at their feet. When Jesus puts himself there, at their feet, in the Garden of Gethsemene his journey to greatness begins - through his choice to make himself powerless. A choice that we find so incredulous. 

From this point of view, today's Gospel seems particularly appropriate. The scholars tell us that Mark actually finished writing his account of the Gospel at verse eight;

 8They got out as fast as they could, beside themselves, their heads swimming. Stunned, they said nothing to anyone. (The Message)

This was too desperate; too unfinished; too much of a state of panic to finish a telling of the 'Good News' so the verses were added to compliment the Resurrection story of the other Gospels.

How typically human to try to control the mystery; to bring the confusion to reconciliation; to avoid the admission that, rather than affirming 'Here am I' we cry out, our heads swimming, 'Where am I?'

In Step One we have to let go of the cover-ups; of the coping strategies; even of 'looking of the bright side of life'. 

We cannot neglect our own ills and demons forever. We cannot spend our days pretending we are superheroes;  drinking poisons and casting out devils. The time comes when the cool, dark, earth of the garden beckons; we have to stop, we have to return to verse 8 and we have admit that this is as far as we can go on our own.

Step One Prayer 
Dear Lord,
   I admit that I am powerless.

I admit that when I try to control my life 
it becomes unmanageable.
Help me this day to understand
The true meaning of powerlessness.   
Remove from me this denial.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

The point of the argument?

Mark 15:40-42

There were women watching from a distance, among them Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James, and Salome. When Jesus was in Galilee, these women followed and *served him, and had come up with him to Jerusalem.

*in the Greek - diekonoun - to minister; as the angels ministered in the desert.
The root assumed to be from the phrase to be 'covered in dust' as the busy servant, follower or disciple would be; leading to the title of 'deacon'.
The only person named as a deacon in scripture is Phoebe (Romans 16:1) 

Much as I hate to go to the foot of the cross there is something in the air that has brought me back. 

Recent reports regarding the Vatican and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has created an incredible air of debate, discussion and argument  flying across the airways of social network and blogging sites. 

The rights (and rites) and wrongs of the Catholic hierarchy is a never-ending debacle of trying to impose a institutional rule that seems based on prejudice, discrimination, fear of the modern world and a strangely perceived bias on what the Gospel is all about. 

And there I am going to put my hand over my mouth. 

Because the result of all this furore is often simply not good for me. 

When I first began studying scripture and seriously considering my faith and my adult relationship with God in all His/Her aspects I quickly became guilty of two great shames -

Firstly, the shame of enlightenment - that I, a cradle Catholic, had such a limited view of God that had been handed to me through school and church and that I had never thought to find out about for myself. The reaction to this; to discovering the Gospels; the theologies of liberation, gender and social justice; to the challenges of realising a Kingdom that is 'now here' rather than 'nowhere'  inspired me. Inspired me to start writing as I do now - or rather not as I do now - and to the recognition of the call to minister - which of course has its own limitations in the Catholic Church.

The other shame - and the greater - was the power that I assumed this knowledge gave me. As you can see from the notes on the Gospel above - I can build an argument about anything - from my viewpoint - and I did. And I took on an imagined mantle of opening the eyes of others to the world that God wanted and I did it in the simple belief that I was right.  I imagined that  if I couldn't be a priest then at least I could talk the talk as good as one. 

Even now I am embarrassed by this admission. 

Fortunately, or unfortunately, this came to a head in a protracted on-line discussion with a course colleague in the States. We were as far from each other theologically and faith-fully as it would be possible to be and both just as good at justifying our opinion. It seems, now, as though this discussion went on forever - it was about two weeks - and I brought it, filled with fire, to my meeting with my Spiritual Director. I was asked 'Have either of you mentioned Jesus in what you've been writing?' I had to admit I hadn't; I hadn't even thought about him;  it had all been about Church, doctrine; quotes by theologians; arguments by radicals - oneupmanship vs oneupwomanship over and over again. 

Where was Jesus; where was Love; where was forgiveness; where was compassion; where was reconciliation? It was back in 'nowhere'.

Since then I try, I try, to put those questions against whatever I say and whatever I write. My faith may be considered radical but it cannot be cruel;it cannot belittle others; it cannot be jury and judge; it cannot stand on a pedestal.

The women in the Gospel, the apostles and all those unnamed disciples of no account are the body of the Church; they are the people who sought to built a church 'united in conviction and united in love, with a common purpose and a common mind' (Phillippians 2:2) -  they are my brothers and sisters; the saints that go before me. And we  are, all of us, scrambling to walk in the dust of Jesus' footprints.

And because of this, when I hear with dismay of actions taken within the Church; I will read; I will ask questions; I will listen to what people think; I will try to speak out of love and not division; I will pray for the discernment to understand God's hand in it - and when all I can do is love - then I'll do that - in fact I'll do that first. In Jesus' name.

Prayer of St Francis 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Now here, now hear

GospelLuke 24:35-48

The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
  They were still talking about all this when he himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.
  Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.

'One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed.' --Leonard Ravenhill

It is astonishing that, after the traumatic and rejection-filled experience of the Crucifixion, the Risen Christ returns to his friends with such gentleness and intimacy. Especially as although he may have been wonderfully transformed his followers most certainly have not. 

They remain fearful and confused; they are so distracted by the wonder of what other people are saying that the resultant shrugging and tutting of what to believe allows Jesus to appear, as if from nowhere. 

Almost like one of those street magicians who uses distraction to fool his audience; Jesus appears in the midst of his friends' lack of faith. Their eyes still do not see; their hearts still do not believe.

You would imagine that it would be Jesus doing the tutting; how many times does he have to speak; how many times must he appear; how many more hot dinners does he have to eat? 

But there is a serenity to him here; these are not the accusations from before; he can see even further into their hearts and he understands that these are his last opportunities to open their hearts to what has be achieved by his sacrifice. 

But fear blinds the eyes and twists the words that are spoken; so before the teaching, the sharing of food. Jesus does not want to be remembered through some unique miraculous act or ritual. His desire is to be with us in the peace and hospitality of the shared table. 

Only then, can the disciples be witnesses both to Jesus' resurrection and to the prophecies that have led to our redemption.

Prophecy is a strange notion - we are afraid of the idea that our life is set out before us; carved in stone in a library of eternity;that  before we are even born our Death is counting down the moments to whisk us away. If everything is predestined then why bother?

But that is not prophecy. God has not written a blueprint for our lives or the life of the world. The prophets, particularly the unpopular ones, looked at the world that they were living in, looked at the actions of the people who were living in it and recognised the distance that was building between God and his people. Their task was to shout out the error of our ways but their own humanity and our own stubborness kept us from returning home. There were other choices - we just didn't make them. 

From the very beginning Jesus shows the many, many times that God was beckoning us whilst, like the Prodigal Son, we ran further and further away.

 Unlike the Prodigal Son, the love of our Father meant that we didn't even have to wait until we were sitting hopeless in pig-dung; our brother, Jesus volunteered to come and redeem us; to come, in person, and claim us back. No matter what. 

George Santayana said 'Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it'.  Jesus teaches us that this is also true of our spiritual life. He leads us to  our calling and our responsibility to teach others; in Jesus' name.

The value of the Old Testament may be dependant on what seems its imperfection. It may repel one use in order that we may be forced to use it in another way—to find the Word in it…to re-live, while we read, the whole Jewish experience of God’s gradual and graded self-revelation, to feel the very contentions between the Word and the human material through which it works. –C.S. Lewis


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

How to Act

Acts 5;32,33

We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’
  This so infuriated them that they wanted to put them to death.

Time to change?

I seem to remember a voice that said

The healthy do not need a doctor 
and I have come to heal the sick.

who knew...

The prophet is never welcome 
in his home town

who interceded...

Father forgive them 
they do not know what they do.

who called...

The Christian to be a warrior
for the prince of Peace

and taught...

To fight hypocrisy with humiity 
And condemnation with forgiveness

and to do it...

Not seven times
but seventy times seven.



Saturday, 7 April 2012

The Butterfly Effect

GospelJohn 20:1-9 

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’
  So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

 “I don't care to inquire why they cannot believe an earthly body can be in heaven, while the whole earth is suspended on nothing.”
― Augustine of Hippo

Our most poetic of Gospel writers chooses a simple tone for the Resurrection. No Angel of the Lord rumbling through the heavens shattering the tomb entrance; no young men sitting serenely on gravestones with a message of hope; no groups of disciples running here and there. The faith of the disciples is, instead, strengthened by what seems to be, further bereavement. 

Mary of Magdala witnessed the whole, bloody mess of Good Friday. Surely, even as adept as she is claimed to be, the thought must have been going through her head that something had gone wrong; that the journey had missed a turn. This dawn visit a pilgrimage of remembrance; a mis-timed goodbye? Courage enough to brave the soldiers if necessary; not enough  to brave the threshold of an empty tomb.

An opportunity for Simon Peter to redeem himself then. To launch himself  into the unknown courageously and no doubt remorsefully at this apparent desecration; insult added to injury that he could not even stand watch over the dead. 

And then to find what? A winding of grave linen - heavily scented with the gifts of sorrow, sticky with the honey texture of aloe and myrrh; bound together still in a sunken chrysalis. The discarded head-covering the wrinkled testament to transfiguration. 

The battered and abused body of Jesus was not at rest in the darkness of the Sabbath. 

In defiance of the Law - yet again - Jesus has been becoming, not only healed, but remade, reborn. A transformation to let him through the fabric of  death; sloughing away the denials and the accusations to the rising of the new dawn.

He is not there - the whisper of a morning breeze; the fluttering of white linen speaks of a man-child who was born, lived and died in an mundane corner of the world - not much in the scheme of things - but enough to change Eternity.

There is an answer for Mary of Magdala - 

His Father has taken him out of the tomb and put him into the hearts of all who believe. 

Can anyone, in face of this, still doubt that He has risen and lives, or rather that He is Himself the Life? Does a dead man prick the consciences of men...?”
― St. Athanasius of Alexandria,