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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you
Imagine living our lives in a cave. We can see nothing but images projected on wall in front of us. We are prevented from knowing their true nature. To us, these shadows are our reality. We may name and define the shadows. We may create and entire understanding based on these shadows. But what, if suddenly, we were able to break free from this perceived reality to see things as they really are?
On this Low Sunday let us return to the cave where Jesus had been buried.
In all the encounters in and around that cave, from the burial of Jesus to just after his resurrection, we find people deciding how they would live.
The Jewish leaders had asked for a guard for the tomb. They knew Jesusâ€™ claims. They asked Pilate for soldiers. “You have a guard,” Pilate said. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
The guards who had been there the morning of the resurrection ran off to Jerusalem to report what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, â€œYou must say, â€˜Jesusâ€™ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.â€™ If the governor hears about it, weâ€™ll stand up for you so you wonâ€™t get in trouble.â€ So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say.
The elders and the guards decided they would live in the cave, to stay there in a world of shadows, refusing to acknowledge the truth.
Peter and John went into the tomb, as did the women who arrived first. They saw the reality. Perhaps not understanding it fully, they still accepted and witnessed by leaving the cave behind.
St. Peter praises God today for a new birth to a living hope. He recognizes the fact that the tomb â€“ Jesusâ€™ tomb and in fact his and our tombs, those caves, are to be left behind. We have reality, understanding â€“ and best of all an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us.
Jesus works to lift us up out of our caves. When we are stubborn like St. Thomas was, He will confront us. He will ask us to see reality and to hope â€“ not just a hope of desire, or of wanting things to be a certain way â€“ but hope that is evident. Let us set forth into the sunlight of Jesus, leaving caves behind.