I feel that Easter is an awesome time for reflection. We have fifty days of being with the Risen Christ. On that Easter morning, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome found the tomb empty. The angel told them to go to Galilee where they will see him. Why Galilee? It is the place where they first met the Lord, where they first caught his gaze, they learned to love him. Knowing now that he had risen from the dead, they go back to retell the story and realize with greater depth and truth, his message that will change the course of history. They ran back to their Galilee. The Holy Father put it eloquently:
In the life of every Christian, after baptism there is also another “Galilee”, a more existential “Galilee”: the experience of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ who called me to follow him and to share in his mission. In this sense, returning to Galilee means treasuring in my heart the living memory of that call, when Jesus passed my way, gazed at me with mercy and asked me to follow him. To return there means reviving the memory of that moment when his eyes met mine, the moment when he made me realize that he loved me.
In today’s Gospel, we hear of another disciple of Jesus, doubting Thomas. We can often be a reflection of Thomas when we are so unbelieving in the wonder of what God can do for us. We have moments when we fail to recognize the Resurrection of Christ in those parts of our lives that remain in darkness and that remain in the shadow of Good Friday. Perhaps, we desire to remain in the Good Friday feelings of lost hope and despair thinking that God cannot be bigger than our personal issues and tragedies.
The Easter Season calls us out of this mode. As the baptized, we are called to live in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. God takes despair and gives hope; God takes a tragedy and allows the light of Christ to curse the darkness. There is no tragedy so great, no sin, no situation in which God’s mercy cannot break through, in which God’s love cannot redeem us.
Let us return to our Galilee, return to our first love and to that moment when we received that flame ignited us for the preaching of the Gospel and of the Resurrection of Christ. To find Galilee is not like the search for Easter eggs in which we try to find something outside of ourselves. It is the journey within, a journey to the heart! Galilee is that place where we know him by his name and he calls us by OUR NAME!