Thoughts for Easter Day – Sunday, March 31, 2024

Brothers and Sisters,

Resurrection stories can be found in all the gospels, and Easter is the special season of the year when we are invited to tell these stories over and over again so that the good news they contain can be embraced by everyone.  In a world where there is so much news about death, where the forces of evil seem to have gained the upper hand, it is good to know that we do not need to be afraid any longer, for Christ has won the victory over sin and guilt, over death and the grave.  Let us examine one of the stories.  It is about a small group of women who visited the tomb on the first Easter morning.

They were overwhelmed with worry as they made that journey.  One translation expresses their mood in this way, “They worried out aloud to each other, ‘Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?’” They had accepted the fact that Jesus was already dead, so they could do little more than pay their last respects.  The situation as far as they were concerned was hopeless.

To their surprise, when they got to the tomb, the stone was already rolled away, and they saw a young man dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side.  They were completely taken back, astonished.  Their worry turned to wonder.  They needed an answer to the puzzle and did not have to wait long for it. 

The young man dressed in white shared with them some words from God to enlighten them.  “Do not be alarmed; he has been raised.”  God had intervened and had broken the vicious cycle of death to which all human beings were subject.  They were aware that something exciting, something breathtaking, had occurred, but they could not explain it now, but they would understand its meaning later. 

They were commanded to bear witness to what they had seen and heard.  In the simple message, “Go, tell the disciples and Peter…,” they were made to understand that good news must not be kept to themselves.  It must be shared. 

I invite your careful reflection on this movement, from worry to wonder, from wonder to a word of enlightenment, and from word of enlightenment to witness.  Those of us who believe in resurrection and who have experienced the power of resurrection in our lives must learn to apply this message to all the death-dealing and difficult situations in which we find ourselves.