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He Is Risen

Outside Chicago, there is a small cemetery in the woods behind Mundelein Seminary, where I was a student. One night I was exploring it. I looked up and was shocked to see an imposing seventeen-foot angel towering over me and preparing to blow a trumpet. Adrenaline rushed through me. I gasped and uttered, “Oh my God!” Quickly I realized it was in fact a massive bronze statue. I tried to calm myself down. But it still freaked me out. As we begin to celebrate Easter today, this image might seem a bit unnerving. But please recall that for the first disciples on the morning of the resurrection, it was precisely that. It wasn’t joyful at first, it was terrifying. It wasn’t peaceful, it was unsettling. In that Jerusalem cemetery, something otherworldly had happened. Angels announced that he was no longer dead, but alive. They had blown their trumpets, so to speak, and Jesus had risen. Soon the disciples’ shock in that dark cemetery would turn into joy. We all have our own places of the dead, too, don’t we? Deceased loved ones. Our tired patterns of blame. Relationships stuck in resentment. Indifference to the poor. Lost dreams. Despair about our future. Fear of sickness and death. These are our “cemeteries” where we don’t expect much to happen. Today we enter — if we dare — those places with the disciples. See the mighty angel standing there, trumpet ready to blare!

— Father John Muir ©LPi



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