Easter Monday, 13th April 2020

There is a strong blame game going on at the moment as one way of coping with the present epidemic trauma in all its various guises – more immediate for some and less for others – and blame in all its various guises –  some very general and some very particular. All can be subject to deception: false fears and fake news.

But this is also a time of depth for those spending more time at home and more time alone, looking outward at this unanticipated world. We often divide emotions into good and bad, happy or sad, but I think they can equally be divided into shallow and deep, and the pursuit of what is supposed to be happiness is often a flight from depth, from one’s own interior life and the suffering around us – and not being happy is often framed as failure. But there is meaning as well as pain in sadness.

Wise words from a very thoughtful and well-written article by the historian Rebecca Solnit in last week’s Guardian (7.6.20) Today’s gospel finishes with a story blaming the Jews for covering up Christ’s resurrection by blaming the disciples for the missing body. Whatever the truth of this, it can be seen as a way of coping with trauma in terms of success and failure rather than of depth. The disciples are still coming to terms with their sadness at the absence of their Lord but in the light of resurrection there is no need for such stories. If we accept the gift of the Spirit, released in a new way by this resurrection, then our lives will witness to its reality in a way no story can and the zero-sum game of who is to blame will be ended. So let us find meaning in our sadness while we can.