CHRISTMAS HAS ITS OWN WONDER: A holy Mother with her Infant, shepherds and angels, a traveling star and guests from the East. But so does Easter: An angel conversation at the tomb, the love of the myrrh-bearing women, Magdalen thinking the Risen Jesus is the gardener, the faith-proclamation of Thomas, Jesus preparing breakfast on the beach for the down-spirited apostles.
And there is one Easter theme we might consider as soon the season will pass. It is Jesus appearing to the apostles, though the room where they have gathered is locked.
Jesus doesn't have a spare key.
He doesn't break down the door.
No one lets him in.
He appears (it is really Jesus!) despite the locked doors!
But what does it mean? Remember metaphor doesn't mean something is not real but rather it is most real because we experience it in some deeply personal way.
We all have our locked up place. It isn't the computer requiring a password. It isn't the car parked on a city street. It isn't the office containing personal papers. But the locked place which concerns Jesus is my inner psychological place, my emotional room, my mind of memories, my heart which can be broken, perhaps a spiritual place.
But remember, the apostles are locked in for fear. And while we can lock ourselves in for fear, we might also lock ourselves in for shame, anger or sadness. Spiritual work begins by naming these inner places.
Some people live in inner rooms circling in sorrow or hate. Rehearsing old memories and wounds seemingly forever.
I was abused.
I was taken advantage of.
I was dismissed.
I was abandoned.
I wasn't included.
And the resentment can be very deep. I might be nursing a time of mistaken-ness, immaturity, ignorance or squandering selfishness. Perhaps I can't let go of a time ruined by a choice I made - an even deadly choice. Anyway, we might imagine ourselves in the felt misery of that inner room, and then this prayer.
The key may be lost Lord Jesus,
The light dim, I can't see the door,
The room sealed up,
The barricades high,
The air, long ago gone bad.
But come in,
let's leave this room
before the Easter Springtime's past.
Refresh in my mind,
you see me always
the Mother watching her children
for danger may be near.
Indeed, you see me always,
but as I was in the womb,
the day of my birth,
all new and filled with
God thought and