Not Fully Prepared

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April 1, 2018 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

April 1, 2018
Mark 6:1-7
Fr. George Smiga

Every Easter we hear in the gospel that holy women bring spices to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. But we might not notice how ill prepared they are to accomplish this task. In order to anoint Jesus’ body they would have to touch it. But his body was in a tomb that was sealed by a large rock the women could not move. Their dilemma is expressed in their conversation to one another. “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” Well frankly, shouldn’t they have thought about that before they left? They had the spices, but they had no access to Jesus’ body. Was it a wise plan to imagine that they would run into some burly men hanging around the cemetery early on Sunday morning willing to help strangers?

It is clear that the women did not have all that was necessary to accomplish their purpose. So why did they set out in the first place? I would suggest to you that they did so because they were women of faith. They believed that what they desired to do was important, and too important to wait. They trusted that God understood and supported their desire to anoint the body of their Lord. They therefore trusted that God would help them find the pieces that were missing from their plan, that God would provide those things they could not.

In our lives there are issues that are so important that we must set out to solve them even though we do not have all that is necessary to do so. There are aspects of living that are so valuable that we must act to protect them even though we do not have an exact idea of how to accomplish that task.

You might have a deep desire to have a partner in life, someone to love, someone with whom you can raise a family. But you have no clear idea of how to bring that about. The holy women in today’s gospel tell you to set out, to begin to talk and meet other people, and to trust that God is going to provide the things that you cannot. You might have known for some time that a significant relationship in your life is falling apart. As important as this relationship is, you know that you do not on your own have the means to fix it. The gospel tells us to begin, to talk to the person, to reach out and seek out help from others—always trusting that God will help you find the pieces that you are missing.

We might be disgusted by the injustice of the world, by the selfishness of our culture, or the incompetence of our government. But we say to one another, “What good can I do to change what is so wrong in the world?” The gospel today challenges us to set out even when we know that we do not have all the necessary resources, to begin to talk to others, support those endeavors that are moving forward, and insist on principles that are moral and right. We may be surprised how God can use the little efforts we make for larger purposes.

Now, of course, the good news of Easter morning is that when the women arrived at the tomb, God did provide what they could not. Not only was the stone rolled back, but the man they came to anoint was raised up. God’s actions far exceeded their expectations. That is the way our God is, always willing to astound us with his strength and his love. But this much is certainly true. If the women had decided not to go because they did not have all that was necessary, they would have not found the empty tomb. They would have missed Easter. Today let us promise one another that we will not.

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