April 24, 2009

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Resurrection moments turn darkness to light

Debra TomaselliWhen I began writing, one of my goals was to publish this column. I contacted the editor of The Florida Catholic, and sent sample essays on a regular basis.

“I like your writing,” she’d say. “Keep sending articles.”

When my newspaper arrived, I’d grab it out of the mailbox, rustle through the pages, and search in vain for my byline. The following day, I’d phone the editor.

“I like your stuff,” she’d reiterate, “but I didn’t have space in this issue. I can’t promise anything, but keep trying.”

Again and again, weeks turned into months, I offered articles that never made it to print. But I continued to hope.

I was home alone when a springtime issue of our Florida Catholic arrived. I thumbed through the pages when, much to my surprise, I noticed the full-page headline, “Rosary reflects on the life of Christ,” complete with my byline.

My heart raced. My face beamed. I ran, jumped, danced, flipped and hopped through the house. I screamed, laughed, shouted and sang! My column had made it into the newspaper!

When I was out of breath, I paused and studied the print again. I pinched myself. And then I raced through the dining room, jumped the coffee table, did a cartwheel, flipped into the kitchen and sprinted through the house again. When I calmed down, I called everyone I knew to share the good news.

It was a moment I’ll forever remember. It was an unexpected joy, a long-awaited triumph, an unbelievably wonderful gift.

So I can only imagine Mary’s reaction as she walked to the tomb that first Easter morning. Grief blanketed her. The air was thick, her shoulders hunched, her pace slowed. Nothing interrupted the silence. Jesus, her friend, her companion, crucified. Her Savior, her Messiah, gone.

Mary couldn’t have expected much, but surely she carried a whisper of hope along with the jars of spices as she peered into the tomb.

And what she saw surprised her…an empty crypt…folded burial cloth…dazzling angels… Her pulse quickened, her shoulders straightened, and her eyes sparkled. So this is what he meant, she thought. Turning on her heels, she dropped the spices and raced to tell the disciples…Jesus is risen, just as he said. He is alive!

You’ve had resurrection experiences, too. They deliver a day of surprise and turn darkness to light. They provide a chapter of affirmation and a message of hope.

Yet, they are only a shadow of God’s eternal promise. They are here to remind us that the best is yet to come. They are here to show us that we can be a people of faith, to help us embrace the joy of the risen Christ and to rush us into sharing the Good News.

Jesus’ resurrection is a moment we’ll forever cherish. It delivers an unexpected joy, a long-awaited triumph, an unbelievably wonderful gift.

We can continue to hope.

Jesus Christ is risen! Alleluia!

(Debra Tomaselli lives in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Her column appears in several diocesan newspapers. Her e-mail address is dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.) †

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