O is for open. The tomb is open. It is empty.
Here is the fulfillment of all our hope: that this life is not the end; that death does not triumph over life; that when Jesus said, “Come and follow me, and I will give you eternal life” he meant it; that even though we look (and feel) defeated and empty, the truth is vibrant and living.
Here is a little openness from me: I have been a tomb. That’s what this Lent has felt like. I have been sealed off, closed up, entombed. Going to Mass has been a struggle (one I haven’t always won, I must admit) in part because I feel so isolated, from God, from friends, even from myself. I don’t offer this insight from a desire to wallow, or as a gambit for your sympathy, but merely to reinforce that how I began this post is absolutely true, whether we feel it, believe it, accept it, or not. I went to Mass this morning feeling I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) participate in the Easter joy because I didn’t make the Lenten journey. Listening to the readings and the homily, I didn’t hear anything I haven’t heard before. There were no new details, no startling revelations, no comforting feelings of supernatural reassurance. But I knew that no matter how hard it is to sit there sometimes, or how strong the temptation is to resist God, I belong there, with Him. So my Easter joy is more subdued than exultant this year, but it is accompanied by deep gratitude for the loving mercy of our God who keeps His promises.