Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
"They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him." Mary of Magdala, seeing the stone rolled away from Christ's burial place, runs to tell the disciples what she thinks is bad news. The grave is empty. Jesus' body must have been stolen. Clearly, resurrection isn't on her radar. As it says at the end of the passage, "They did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead." Only later, when Mary saw Jesus again face-to-face, did she come to understand what had actually happened.
We, of course, know that the empty tomb really means good news! We know that the cross was not the end of the story, that Jesus conquered death, walked again amongst his followers, and ascended into heaven where he reigns even now. Unlike the first Christians, we have the testimony of history, the record of Scripture, and the benefit of tradition at our disposal. We have more reason to believe than Mary, Peter, or John did on first seeing the tomb! We need not waste any time "running" around like they did in search of the Savior. We know that Jesus is alive, and that sin and death have met their match.
"Where, O death, is your victory?" we can now proclaim with St. Paul. "Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55). Jesus has won! He is triumphant! This is the joy of Easter, based in fact and bolstered by faith. And we are the heirs of this great joy. As we sing in the Easter psalm, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad." On this most glorious of holy days, as we gather to feast with friends and family, let us be sure to recall the reason for our celebration: Christ is risen! Truly he is risen! Alleluia!
Have a blessed week, Father O'
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