Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two Questions

There are just two questions in today's wonderful Easter Gospel, and even though they are questions, they are so only in the Socratic sense: they are really teaching something.
The first question, asked by the angels and then by Jesus ("the gardener") is "Woman, why are you weeping?" What a question to ask in a cemetery! It only makes sense if it is a rhetorical question: "Why on earth are you weeping, given the explosion of life that occurred this morning?"
The second question is only asked once in today's passage, but we heard it before. Twice. On Friday. In the Passion narrative. "Who are you looking for?"
We heard an echo of that same question at the very beginning of John's Gospel: "What are you looking for?" You would expect that to be the question in the cemetery, too. After all, Mary was looking not for a person, but for a corpse. Or so she thought.
So today's second question is also a teaching: the "what" that we all seek is really a "whom," a Thou, a person. "What" we are all "looking for" is communion with the Living One.

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