For whom are you looking?

Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’

I heard it on Easter morning and it was like hearing it for the first time. Jesus and Mary stand just outside the tomb, feet wet with the garden dew, and he asks her that question: for whom are you looking? I heard it and I heard the undeniable echo of the betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane. John tells it this way: Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus replied, ‘I am he.

All of it is wrapped up together. There is no way to Easter without walking through the denial and betrayal. And yet, the Resurrection never fails to appear, new life, changed, transformed life, meeting Mary, meeting us in that strange and holy place.

I’ve been sitting with the question since Easter morning, that moment when I heard it anew–“For whom are you looking?” I wonder if Jesus doesn’t ask us the same thing. Whom are we looking for? Easter is that glorious season of seeking and finding God in the unexpected places and in unexpected, perhaps even momentarily unrecognizable faces. And that’s what I’m holding onto–that God is still dreaming, dancing, and delighting in this world, waiting for us to recognize Transformed Love in our midst.

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This image is from the Chapel of Mary Magdalene in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, or the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. This was one of my very favorite chapels in the space because of this sculpture. The above image is taken from http://www.sepulchre.custodia.org/default.asp?id=4115.

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