Utterly Amazed

April 8, 2010

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.  …. On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed.  …. Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. 
(Mk 16: 1-8)

Have you ever been utterly amazed at God’s work in your life as the three women were at Jesus’ empty tomb?   I know I have.  There have been times in my life where God’s hand in my life was so profound that I was “utterly amazed” at how God was creating me moment by moment all along. 

When the moment of awareness comes that God’s hand has been at work, I am sometimes left bewildered and amazed.  Sometimes, my initial reaction is of overwhelming joy  as I recognize God’s work in my life.  Sometimes, I am so moved by the new “place” I am in- a new self-perspective, a new relationship, a new role, a new city, a new wholeness, a new peace- that it terrifies me.  I ask myself, “how in the world did I get here?”  I am so thankful I am here, but “when did this happen?”. 

The women, upon finding Jesus’ tomb, experienced both amazement and bewilderment.  This new “place”, an empty tomb, they found themselves in brought joy, fear, and questions:  How did this happen?  What does this mean?  Are we called to shared this experience with others?

God’s powerful work in our lives sometimes catches us by surprise and leaves us utterly amazed.  We, too, like the women at the empty tomb, must ask ourselves, “What do we do with this piece of news?  Do we keep it to ourselves or do we share this experience with others?”

In Mark’s gospel shortly after the women find the tomb, we see Jesus inviting his disciples to “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16: 15).  What does this mean for us in our daily lives?  I do not think this invites us to stand on the street corner and preach; I think it invites us to live our lives in a way that honors the utter amazement of God’s work in our lives we have experienced. 

When were we utterly amazed at God’s work in our lives?
How am I called to share the gospel in my daily, lived experience? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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