By: The Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff, Bishop Associate of the Diocese of Virginia
By: Emily Bruch, Director of Youth Ministries
When I was younger, my parent’s, like any parents do, tried to expose me to as many hobbies and experiences as possible. Sometimes these experiences did not go so well. My father really enjoyed fishing and well, he thought I might too. When I was about 10 years old, we went deep sea fishing. The fancy boat, the beautiful sea, and a time to spend with my father…I was so excited for the day ahead. We all loaded up on a big boat and sailed out into the ocean. Unfortunately, at that time, both myself and my father had no idea what the day had in store for us. It was finally time to fish, everyone found their spot on the boat, casted their lines and then the waiting happened. I was ABSOLUTELY miserable. Why were the fish not biting? and why was it taking so long? You would think this would be the worst for my father that day, having his impatient 10-year-old daughter bugging him constantly while trying to relax. Well then, the fish started to bite, and I quickly learned that we were keeping these fish. Looking in the cooler filled to the brim with fish devastated me. The tears started running. Crying, for the rest of the trip, I begged my father to throw each fish he caught back in the water. I am sure this is not the kind of father daughter bonding time he had in mind when planning this adventure. And let’s just say I had not been fishing since.
In the gospel today Peter and the disciples go out fishing. Every time I hear a passage about fishing in the bible, I immediately remember my own fishing experience. Now I do not believe there were any tears over catching fish for the disciples, but I can imagine on this particular trip they felt their patience tested as I had waiting. They fished through the night and yet they caught nothing. I do not know about you, but I would have given up after a few hours.
By: David H. May, Rector
Alleluia! Christ is risen, the Lord is risen, indeed. Alleluia!
On that first Easter morning, before there was one thought of crying aloud, alleluia, our great sister in the faith, Mary Magdalene says to a stranger who she thinks is a gardener, “They have taken his body and I do not know where to find it.” I do not know where to find it.
Sometimes, when I can’t find something, I think, ‘it’s not really lost. It is somewhere, I just can’t find it.’
And I suppose that’s true but it hardly helps when you’re frantically searching for lost key. Yes, presumably they continue to exist, they haven’t slipped through some worm-hole into a parallel universe. But that doesn’t help when someone’s waiting to be picked up from school. They do exist in this material world even if I can’t find them.
Or, they’re lost.
By: Eleanor Wellford, Priest Associate
Those women were busy – the ones we just heard about in Luke’s gospel. But maybe they needed to be busy so they wouldn’t have to stop and think about the awful events of the last couple of days. Maybe they weren’t ready to give into their grief and needed a job to do just to keep putting one foot in front of the other – just to keep moving forward.
It was a little before dawn on a Sunday morning when they awoke and gathered up their spices and hurried off to meet up with each other. There was no doubt in their mind about their mission. They would all walk over together to the tomb where Jesus was buried and they would use their spices to anoint the body of their friend, their teacher, their lord. It would be a way to honor him, to remember him and to give expression to their grief.
It’s not unusual to hear about the men who followed Jesus around, but Luke made a point of specifically mentioning some women by name. Mary Magdalene became known to us earlier in Luke’s gospel as a woman whom Jesus had cured of evil spirits that had humiliated and shamed her for years.
We know less about Joanna. Supposedly her husband worked for Herod which meant that he probably didn’t like that his wife was heading out to visit Jesus’ tomb. But he also probably knew better than to try to stop her.
And we know even less about the other woman named Mary. She was thought to be the mother of James, one of Jesus’ disciples. But Mary was such a popular name that it’s hard to keep them all straight!
By: David H. May, Rector
There are so many words, so many in this story of Jesus last days and hours. So many. There is so much to try to say to describe – ‘here’s what happened’. The crowds would have been huge in Jerusalem for the Passover. There would have been people there on pilgrimage from all over the Mediterranean. So many different voices and faces and characters are there in this scene of Jesus’ last hours on this earth. It’s dizzying to sort them all out and to find your bearings. In my imagination, it reminds me of a day in 1972 when I stepped out of a cab in Times Square in New York by myself in the clothes my father had bought for me for my first solo voyage out into the world. I was dressed as a buttoned-up southern gentleman though all of 13. And what I saw and heard, like Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover, was overwhelming. Haitians running three-card Monte in heavily accented English and Russian cabbies shouting out sounding to me like Boris and Natasha from the television cartoon show Bullwinkle, and tourists laden with cameras from Des Moines or Tokyo or Hamburg, and Indians from the South Continent dressed, to my 13 year old eyes, so strangely. It was a cacophony of the whole world in all colors and languages surging in this one place.
The Gospel of Jesus’ death describes a scene just as dizzying where we are bounced around in the surging crowd just as bewildered as a kid from the south in Times Square. And it’s hard to know where to stand or what to do or to know where you belong or even who you are in this crazy scene that seems to be accelerating towards some hidden but inevitable place. Who are you in this crowd? Where do you stand? Whose side are you on? – because knowing what side to be on seems to be of the utmost importance these days.