Acts 2:14, 22-33
Have you ever experienced something profound, inexplicable, miraculous? Something that has moved you changed you or shifted your reality, only to find that when you try and put the experience into words, you fall short? When you have tried to explain to others, they have placed their own ideas on what has happened, or worse, refused to believe you?
Many life experiences cannot be explained adequately in the moment because no matter what is happening, the particulars of the event are unique for each person. The event may have a scientific theory or be understood completely differently for another who is there, but for you, in that moment, with your own history, your own grief, your own understanding, a situation can change the course of your existence.
The psalm today is the same used after the second reading of the Easter Vigil, the Sacrifice of Isaac. I have always wondered how Abraham explained his experience atop the mountain of Moriah – the instruction, the voice, the ram. What occurred on his journey home with Isaac? Had Isaac heard the voice of God instructing Abraham? Did he ever trust his father again? The experience of the women on Easter morning mirrors that of Abraham’s, in his relief at lowering the knife and finding the forsaken ram caught in the bush. Finding that the body of Jesus is not there, the women run from the tomb with relief and excitement, only to find Jesus walking towards them, instructing them, as did the angel, to preach the Resurrection for the first time.
Words are never adequate to explain an experience of awe. Do we hear? Do we listen? Do we believe? Are questions of the mind that try to explain what can only be ‘known’ by the heart.
Angela Marquis works as a chaplain in a Tasmanian local primary school and with the Passionists at St Joseph’s Hobart Parish. She completed a Master of Theology in 2021 and is currently studying Biblical Hebrew with the Israel Institute. She enjoys rock climbing and long leisurely beach walks with her husband and four-legged daughter.