"I have seen the Lord" Mary proclaims to the disciples. They are hiding in fear of what might happen to them because of Jesus being crucified. Mary comes in with this news. Imagine it. The one she thought was dead she has encountered at the tomb. Alive and breathing.
Where do you see the Lord? I don't mean in nature or in the sunset. This encounter Mary has with Jesus is personal. When Jesus comes to her in the tombs and she thinks he is the gardener because her grief is so deep, Jesus has to speak her name in order for her to recognize him. Because of this encounter she has seen the Lord in her own life.
Seeing the Lord in the gospel of John is tantamount to believing but it also means something more. Seeing means acting. Nicodemus does not see at first, but then in the council meeting in John he asks if it is really necessary to kill Jesus. Then later he is with Joseph to collect the body for burial. A blind man is healed and instead of caving in to fear because he is grilled by the Pharisees he tells them they don't understand and he states how he knows what has happened to him. Later in front of Jesus he believes what Jesus tells him that he is the Messiah.
Mary's encounter is profound. It calls us to live out our belief in our own life. It calls us away from the tombs of marginalization, of labeling people as other than worthy, of holding onto fear and doubt. It calls us to have faith. I have seen the Lord means living Jesus example in a hurting world. It means reconciliation and healing for others as we live out this encounter to those who are bound in their own upper rooms for fear.
There was a program on NPR this week about seniors who are starting to love their lives in fear because of listening to too much fear based radio or news programs. The sons and daughters say they find there is a huge behavioral change in these people from the way they used to live their lives. They are even having to cancel cable or dish in order to turn the new bad behaviors around.
Living as if we have seen the Lotd means adopting a new behavior of faith. One of love among things which are dead. One that sees new life and new possibilities among all the things which don't bring life. It means living by the Spirit and living our life with all the love and kindness Jesus showed to others. How will your life witness to you have seen the Lord.