Acts 4:13-21; Mark 16:9-15.
In today's gospel reading the Eleven, the chosen inner circle, refuse to believe both Mary Magdalene and the two walking out in the country, and Jesus is not at all happy about their unbelief: theirs is not a simple and passive lack of faith but an outright denial and refusal of the witnesses he sends them. What they are doing is keeping Jesus in the tomb.
And do we really believe? We who are sure that we have a much better hold on religion after centuries upon centuries of religious experience and clarification and living a faith which is not new to our families or our country? Are we satisfied with being polite and nice and doing what is convenient? Or do we let the world see him alive and at work in us and through us? Are we living the daring and demanding life which Christ calls us to? Or are we keeping Jesus in the tomb?
If Jesus is indeed risen, if he is not only still alive but even more alive than he ever had been in this world, if he comes personally and lovingly to us every time we celebrate the Eucharist, why is that not more evident in the way we live?
This is still a world of sin, crime, and grief, waiting for the Kingdom of God to appear in its fullness. The world is waiting for a complete proclamation of the Good News. Is it us that it awaits, waiting for us to be the people we claim to be and that God calls us to be, his lights in this darkness?
Are we keeping Jesus in the tomb?
By Chas Kestermeier