“This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love; the more they give, the more they possess.”
“Show me the money!” is often our cry heavenward. Not actual money (although, sometimes…) but the proof, the sign, the tangible experience of being in the grip of the grace of God.
And we want this sign to be big and mighty and grand and un-deniably true. Something for all to see and none to argue with.
But the signs are never enough. They weren’t in the days of Jesus, and they aren’t today.
Signs, it seems, are a distraction from seeing the more miraculous things that take place deep in the heart of our lives every single day.
When Jesus resurrected, the details were anything but clear.
The four Gospel books tell almost completely different stories about who was there and what was said and if angels were present or if the stone was rolled away or if it was a gardener or Jesus himself that Mary couldn’t place with her understanding. No one witnessed it. Not a single soul. There was no blinding light in the heavens, no earthquake shaking the temple foundations. Business was as usual, no one noticed a single thing.
“The most wondrous ordinary miracle of all is to receive love and to give it. To give love and to receive it.”
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In obscurity, behind closed doors, in the dark, Jesus came back to life.
Resurrection is both phenomenal and absurd, but what is more astounding about Jesus experience of it was how ordinary it came about. It’s as if it could have happened to anyone…
It’s strange that the “proving” sign of the God of the universe was done on the down-low.
But that's the thing; it's not so much proof as it is grace.
Maybe resurrection is as ordinary as gardening, as getting dirt under our fingernails, as showing up for the work of living.
The miracle is here right in front of us, around us, and in us.
The miracle is that we are here.
The miracle is that we are capable of receiving and giving love.
The miracle is that our scars remain, just like Jesus’s ones did, but rather than defining us, they strengthen us – they tell the story of death, burial, and resurrection.
The Divine could have shown us a grander sign than the resurrection. I’m sure that in the moments and hours after Jesus death, the disciples thought his death was the end of miracles. The end of everything good and true and holy. The end of what they believed. Why this path?
So the greater, more ordinary, more human miracle could be discovered. And it is discovered by us, rather than witnessed on mass. It’s something we almost stumble upon and into.
The Divine’s love is such that he didn’t punish us for killing him, he loved us through it. He transmuted our violence into grace, and returned to life by the power of that love, to both continue to love us, and show us how to love ourselves and others. It’s a miracle we live into. Something we continually learn through experience. It’s the kind of resurrection that happens as we till the soil of our lives, bury seeds, and wait for them to grow, wondering if they ever will.
Rainer Maria Rilke said:
“This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love; the more they give, the more they possess of that precious nourishing love from which flowers and children have their strength and which could help all human beings if they would take it without doubting.”
The most wondrous ordinary miracle of all is to receive love and to give it. To give love and to receive it. That’s the sign of resurrection, and you’ll walk right past it if you’ve got your eyes focused on “the money.”
Written by Liz Milani