Easter Sunday in Nashville
It is Easter once again, and yet this year it is especially difficult to say ‘Happy Easter’ after the recent Covenant School shooting.
On that Monday I was reminded of a sentence from a book by the Jesuit, Father Greg Boyle: ”God protects me from nothing but sustains me in everything.”
I struggle with that sentence. I want to believe God protects me from evil, but reality shows me that it is not true. When I’ve repeated this sentence to others, I’ve received various responses: from confusion-”I don’t know what you’re talking about, that makes no sense”, to complete denial-”That’s not right, God does protect me from everything.”
We live in a human world with flawed humans. Even in today’s Gospel while recounting the events of the Resurrection, John can’t help but take a few digs at Peter.
“So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved,”
“They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;”
“Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.”
At this critical moment of the Resurrection John still finds time to let the reader know that he is loved more than Peter, is physically faster than Peter, and definitely is smarter than Peter.
John, who was hand-picked by Jesus to be an apostle, still struggles with pettiness and resentment. And while John was the only apostle to live to an old age, imagine what he lived to witness: his brother James stoned to death, Peter crucified, and the remaining apostles martyred.
Most of us don’t deserve the lives we are given- both the good events and the bad events. Yet God sustains us in all of it. That may not be what we want and it may not sound like much but when we are in the depths of anger, sadness or grief, when no one can understand us, when it’s 3 a.m. and no one is there to hold our hand, or it is 4 months later and our friends and family want us to move on from our sadness, only God remains, ever present, listening to us, grieving with us and waiting for us. God protects us from nothing but sustains us in everything. May we all have the best Easter possible.