The separated linen clothes and head cloth remind us to do what we can with every new opportunity


The separated linen clothes and head cloth remind us to do what we can with every new opportunity

HAPPY EASTER!  In the homily last week, I reflected on the state of the world, and how it is easy to be overwhelmed by fear and lose hope.  How do we make sense of it all?

And that’s how Christ found the Apostles when He appeared to them after the Resurrection: dejected, and some walking away.  The message to the Apostles is helpful to us today:

He is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him, just as he told you.”. When our life plans have been upset by tragedy or outside influences, how are we to respond? God is telling us to go back to where it all started.  We can begin again, if we choose!

Let us focus on the scene inside the tomb: “Simon Peter… 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.

The location of the head cloth is a lesson for us: it is separate and folded up.  I believe that indicates that Jesus removed the head clothe by himself, once the linen clothes had been removed which freed his arms and legs: he could walk (head cloth in a separate location), and move his arms (head cloth folded up).

It’s a sign to all of us that our daily Resurrections require our participation and contribution, if we are to embrace our “new life”.  Otherwise we remain unhappy and trapped in the past.

Going back to where it all began, allowed the Apostles to start again with new understanding.  What about us, can we go back to where it all began?  For example, in married life, can we go back to the period of courtship and reflect on our motivations and expectations?

Then, upon reflection, were we faithful in our contributions to our relationship and did I live up to my Vow of love through good and bad times?  Having gone back, and is hopefully possible to go forward again with a more correct understanding of how to live/ act.

Marriage re-encounter weekends are very helpful for this.  The same for religious life: when it gets difficult, it is easy to blame everyone else.  And decide to leave.  But we should first of all go back to beginning (perhaps my initial attraction? or in the seminary?).  Back where we started, we can better analyse our feelings and desire, and move forward again.

By Gerard Conlan, OMI