Following the death of His Royal Highness, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the UK and the nations of the Commonwealth are in a period of mourning. The focus for this sense of grief is of course the Queen herself who has lost the love of her life after 73 years of marriage. It is certain that at 3pm on Saturday 17th April she and her family will attend Philip’s funeral and say their goodbyes.
It was with a similar sense of certainty that Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus on the first Easter Sunday. She too went to grieve, knowing that she had lost her dearest friend. But Mary’s grief was dramatically curtailed when the man she had gone to grieve spoke her name. With a single word the risen Jesus turned her grief to joy.
It is this hope of the resurrection that has been so important to the Queen and about which she has often spoken in her Christmas broadcasts. Even in the depths of her personal grief, she will surely draw comfort from the words of St Paul, who wrote that Christians ‘do not grieve like those who have no hope [for] we believe that Jesus died and rose again’.
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