By Hilary Scheppers


“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,
and we do not know where they have laid him.”
~John 20:2b


Before Sunrise 

It is early in the morning. It is still dark. Mary of Magdala is awake. She visits the tomb of Jesus. She sees the stone is removed. The tomb is left open. Quickly, she thinks, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” She runs to tell the other disciples. 


Would we have done the same?

When we cannot find the Lord, we might think someone has removed Him from our life. But what Mary of Magdala is about to find out – and what we know already – is that Jesus has not been removed by anyone. Jesus is a resurrected Lord – present with us. 


Knowing that Jesus is present with us through trials and through the Eucharist, where have you put Jesus in your life? Where have you put Jesus this Lent? And where will you put Jesus today? 


Jesus at the Center

As I reflect on this Lent, I can certainly say I placed Jesus as a footnote to my preparation for Easter. In previous Lenten seasons, I knew I had grown in love because of how I saw my obedience deliver micro-miracles. Or how I saw my willingness to forgive deepen my relationships with my family. 


But this year, I misplaced Jesus on my trek through the desert. I was weak in my fasting, prayer, and almsgiving – and I continued half-heartedly until I realized the pain of my weakness. Instead of resolving to sin no more, I was holding on more tightly to my sin. 


Seeking Counsel from Disciples

Like Mary, we can run to other disciples when we lose Him. So, when I realized I had become indifferent to my Christian commitments, I ran to my church. I sought the counsel of confession. Before I could say everything I wanted to say, Father interjected saying, “You are a beautiful child of God. You have great faith.” 


Time to Encounter the Risen Lord

All Lent we have been preparing for this moment when we can say Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The moment where we feel a joyous reward for having returned to Christ. The moment where we celebrate our obedience to the Father’s will. Now is our time to celebrate this new life in Christ.


Precious Lord, through your life and your example, you teach me how to love and how to forgive. I pray that, despite my weakness and limitations, I may receive the grace to touch the lives of others. Alleluia! God, you are so good!

Call to Action

Today if there are any lingering weeds attacking your heart, ask God to simply clear them away. Let it all be gone. Today Jesus offers you a new state of being, a new encounter of forgiveness and it is our great honor to welcome the encounter. 



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