by Father Mark Goldasich
Learn from the Master.
When explaining the deep mysteries of God and faith to people, Jesus frequently used stories, parables and common images. He saw those as perhaps the shortest path between us and the Truth.
Following that example, here are a couple of stories to help us enter the wonder of the Easter event.
The first story is about a man and his little boy driving down a country road on a beautiful spring afternoon.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bumblebee flew into the car through the window. Since the boy was deathly allergic to bee stings, he cried out. The father quickly reached out, grabbed the bee, squeezed it in his hand and then released it.
As soon as he let it go, though, the bee buzzed by the boy, who again became frantic. Seeing his son’s panic, the father reached out and showed his hand to the frightened boy.
“Do you see this?” the father said. The boy looked down to see the bee’s stinger stuck in his dad’s hand. “You don’t need to be afraid anymore. I’ve taken the sting for you.”
The Easter message is that we don’t need to fear death anymore — whether physical death or death from sin — because Jesus has taken the stinger for us. By his death and resurrection, he has ushered in new and eternal life for us all. (Adapted from “I’ve Taken Your Sting,” found in “Illustrations Unlimited,” edited by James S. Hewett.)
This next story, supposedly true, concerns a distinguished man, the only white person buried in a Georgia cemetery reserved exclusively for Blacks. When he was just a baby, his mother died. His father, who never remarried, hired a Black woman named Mandy to help raise his son. She was a Christian and took her task seriously. Seldom has a motherless boy received such heartfelt attention.
One of his earliest memories was of Mandy bending tenderly over him in his upstairs bedroom each day and softly saying, “Wake up — God’s mornin’ is come.”
As the years passed, this devoted woman continued to serve as his surrogate mother. The young man went away to college, but when he would come home on holidays and in the summertime, Mandy would still climb the stairs and call him in the same loving way.
One day, after he had become a successful statesman, the sad message came: “Mandy is dead. Can you attend her funeral?”
As he stood by her grave in the cemetery, he turned to his friends and said, “If I die before Jesus comes again, I want to be buried here beside Mandy. I like to think that on Resurrection Day, she’ll speak to me again and say, “Wake up, my boy. God’s mornin’ is come!” (Adapted from “Ready for Resurrection Morning,” in “Illustrations Unlimited.”)
These stories show so well what St. Paul said in his Letter to the Romans: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. . . . But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (5:6, 8).
The sting of death, darkness and sin were not — and are not — the final words, for “God’s mornin’ is come!” Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!