That’s what the angels at the tomb asked Mary Magdalene in John’s version of the Resurrection story. Mary was weeping because, seeing the empty tomb but not yet having met the risen Jesus, she had no explanation for what had happened to him. She could only imagine the terrible things that might have happened to him–compounding the horror of his crucifixion. Eventually, Mary’s weeping turned to tears of joy, as she encountered Jesus anew and realized his promise of resurrection had been true.
I wept, too, this Holy Week and Easter. I wept in grief and rage for all the suffering people needlessly, sinfully inflict on others every day, all around this world. I wept in gratitude for God’s love embodied in Jesus. And I wept in joy that for the first time since 2019, I was able to gather with fellow Christians to celebrate the holiest days of the Church, knowing that even more members of our community were praying with us from home.
Of the various icons I keep in my study at home, I meditate on two in particular at this time of year: the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. (You can check them out below.) These images remind me: Jesus Christ died for us and accompanies everyone through death. And he loves those who are unjustly put to death, or abandoned to death, with a particularly fierce and tender affection. And Jesus Christ did not rise simply for himself, but raises us from the dead.
Alleluia! Christ is risen. And so are you and I.