Arms Empty for Miracles
On this Easter Sunday I found myself watching people going up for communion and smaller children in line to receive a blessing. The children going up for a blessing are asked to fold them arms in a crossed manner so the priests and communion ministers know the child is coming for a blessing. Many of the children who were going up for the blessing also carried in their folded arms stuffed rabbits and other Easter animals. I saw a few grandmothers carrying, what I assumed to be, their grandchildren’s newly received stuff animal.

As I watched them on this Easter Sunday, I was taken to the story of various disciples going to the tomb, each of them with their own expectations of what they would find once there. In the Easter readings, we hear that it was hard for some of the disciples to believe what others had encountered at the tomb. It was as though their hearts were so full with their sorrow and perhaps their fears, that there wasn’t room for the story of a Risen Christ. Perhaps their experiences of the past made it too hard to trust or believe this new Easter mystery.

It made me reflect on my own approach to encountering the Easter mysteries in a new way. Did I have room in my heart to be surprised… to be transformed and blessed by the unexpected or might my heart also be too full? How often do I approach what I think is going to be the given, the expected, (like those women or those disciples i.e. Mary Magdalene and the women who followed Jesus, Peter or the beloved disciple) and find my heart to be open to the new truth even when it is beyond my expectations?

Dare I open myself to miracles large or small? During these fifty days of celebrating the story and the reality of the mysteries of Christ, let us be open for the many ways that Christ steps into our path in unexpected ways.