Easter message: The Risen One Calls and Challenges us

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Easter message: The Risen One Calls and Challenges us(LWI) - The extraordinary Easter Day experience of Mary, the first person to see and touch the risen Christ, lies at the heart of this message by LWF Council member, Rev. Karla Steilmann from the Evangelical Church of the River Plate in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Reflecting on the passage from St John’s gospel which describes Mary weeping beside the empty tomb, she notes that Mary’s tears paint “a completely human picture” of a person mourning the death of a loved one. As a disciple, Steilmann says, Mary had accompanied and followed Jesus, witnessed his miracles and learned from him, leading to a “hope for a different reality, one where everyone was worthy of respect.”

Her disappointment, pain and sadness are so deep, Steilmann reflects, “that they do not allow her to notice her surroundings or to see that Jesus is there with her and is alive.” It is only when he calls her by her name that she can recognize and touch him, becoming the very “first witness to the most meaningful event ever to take place.” Reflecting on “the deluge of mixed feelings” that must have come over Mary, Steilmann asks: “Was she scared? How would we have reacted?”

Jesus’ Resurrection was “an incomparable, unique and unrepeatable event” that transformed Mary’s life, but also "countless other lives over the course of history, including our own,” Steilmann says. We must be vigilant, she urges, “because, like Mary, the Risen One also calls and challenges us to open our eyes and recognize him in our surroundings and in our neighbors.”