by Most Reverend Dianne Sullivan
When Jesus calls your name in your garden can your hear him? Do you know his voice? On that soulful and mysterious morning Mary, known as the Apostle of the Apostles, knew his voice. I suspect that Mary had memorized his voice from countless teachings and gatherings he made during his ministry. She knew the power of his voice and she knew the gentleness of his voice: all the intonations that come with healing work. She knew his sadness, his disappointment, his joy and his humility. So when this strange man, in the garden, called her name that morning, immediately she recognized him as Jesus, the Voice of Love.
In the midst of our own lives, especially after a time of darkness, can we recognize the voice of Love? After such violence, especially in the story of the Passion of Jesus, are we ready to listen? In the midst of our sorrow and emotional upheaval, whether it be the loss of a loved on, loss of our job, loss of our vitality as age creeps into our bones or loss of hope, grieving must run its course; it is due our attention. Mary was mourning holding her grief tightly.
The story of Easter parallels our own lives in many ways. Our experiences are similar.
We are upheld and well thought of: we are loved
We are rejected, accused of some wrongdoing.
We are mocked, embarrassed and sent to a place of disapproval; for some prison, for some death, for some isolation, abandoned and rejected.
We suffer deeply.
And then we are redeemed, brought back into the fold, we are home.
Whether the figure Jesus resonates with you; The Divine; a Higher Power; Buddha; The Prophet Mohammad; The Great Spirit; the story of redemption and coming home is repeated again and again. It is the archetype of the Hero’s journey. No matter what we subscribe to; religion, spirituality, theology, astrology or alchemy, the story is the same: it is the human journey of finding ourselves and finding our purpose.
Through it all love is the balm that makes the journey of death and resurrection doable. It is the only experience that makes sense. We can kick and scream our way through or surrender to life’s movement. We can give ourselves over to vulnerability and love more deeply or we can hold back and pretend we are in control.
The Voice of Love, as it comes to us, is the voice of hope and it will not disappoint.
Love always finds a way.