Happy Easter, brothers and sisters! We’ve journeyed through Lent and Holy Week together, and today we celebrate the central mystery, the ultimate good news, of our Christian faith. Christ is risen!
Today’s Gospel reading is evocative, mysterious, and symbolic. Mary of Magdala arrives at the tomb when it is still dark, and notices that the stone has been removed from the tomb. She, the most faithful of Jesus’ disciples, witnessed Jesus, in whom she had placed such faith and hope, suffer and die on the cross. Much like the darkness of the morning, she was in the darkness of pain, grief, confusion and despair. She runs and tells Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved, that someone has taken Jesus’ body from the tomb and placed it somewhere. Peter and John run to the tomb, enter it, and see the burial cloths inside. The Gospel doesn’t tell us Peter’s immediate reaction, but the disciple whom Jesus loved saw and believed. In the section following today’s proclaimed Gospel passage, Mary, who has not yet come to Easter faith, remains outside the tomb, weeping. Jesus appears to Mary, but her grief blinds her, and she doesn’t recognize him until He calls her name. Mary is the first person to see the Risen Lord and the first to fully understand the good news, and Jesus sends her, the apostle to the apostles, to share the good news with His followers and friends.
There can be no doubt that suffering, injustice, violence, pain and death remain in the world and sometimes we find ourselves, like Mary, blinded by sadness and grief, but Easter reminds us that God’s love is more powerful than these forces, and that Resurrection is the pattern of our lives and our ultimate destiny. The Risen Christ calls our names today and reminds us that we are an Easter people, and He invites us, like Mary, to live and love and hope as an Easter people. May each of us, in the words of the great Easter hymn, “Dance, then, wherever you may be!” Jesus invites us to the dance, and because of Easter, the dance goes on...for all of us!
Ever Risen Christ, help us to live as an Easter people, and inspire us to be bearers of faith, hope, joy and love to the world. Amen.
Jason Moore, ‘01, Associate Director of Retreat Ministry and Interfaith Coordination
First Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Gospel: John 20:1-9 or Luke 24:1-12 or Luke 24:13-35
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website