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The International Day of the Disappeared and the Empty Tomb

We, who call ourselves Christian, should not forget that the One we call Lord and Liberator was an Executed God. He was abducted in the dead of night, unjustly tried, beaten, tortured, and executed between two rebels. Then his body was thrown into a borrowed grave. In the Gospel of Mark, at dawn on Sunday three of his disciples, all women, visit the grave to anoint his dead body. They find the grave empty. There was no body. Jesus had disappeared.

The Gospel of Mark ends with the women described as silent and afraid. Jesus had disappeared.

Today, August 30 is the International Day of the Disappeared. We are invited to stand in solidarity with friends & families of the missing who continue to seek justice, and in remembrance of the thousands of desaparecidos in the Philippines, in many Third World countries, and around the world.

Like the women at the tomb, many of us are silent and afraid. Like the women in the tomb, we want to find The Disappeared. We want to find them alive. Or if they are dead, we want to find their bodies. We want to anoint them with fragrant oils. Maybe build a monument or set up a memorial for them. We want closure.

But the message of the young man in the empty tomb is as real today as it was thousands of years ago… Jesus is not in the tomb. He is risen. He is in Galilee… Waiting for you.

We believe in the resurrection. We believe that good will always triumph over evil; that faith is stronger than fear; that love is greater than indifference; and that life will always, always conquer death… We also believe that The Disappeared will rise again in tens, in hundreds, in thousands who fight and struggle for justice, for peace, for liberation. The Disappeared are not here. Like Jesus, they are risen. They are in Galilee where the good news is preached to the poor, where the hungry are given food, where liberation is proclaimed to the captives…

The Disappeared are waiting for us.
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