Acts 10: 34a, 37-41 Colossians 3: 1-4 John 20: 1-9
While preparing this reflection, I read this statement: “If you are not preparing for your own resurrection, you are like a train that has become derailed. In the first reading Peter proceeded to speak, “You know what has happened all over Judea-Galilee.” Today, on this Easter Sunday, we do know what has happened and are not derailed .We are witnesses of the resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that there is life beyond the grave. The stone being rolled back was not proof that Jesus had risen from the dead. Why then was the stone rolled back? Some say it was rolled back not so Jesus could get out but so we could get in and be assured that the tomb of death will remain empty forever. All of the four Gospel narratives include the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene was the first to learn of the resurrection.
John’s Gospel brings Mary Magdalene to the forefront. “She stood weeping outside tomb.” The angels questioned her and asked her why she was weeping. Jesus asked her “Who are you looking for?” Mary Magdalene was looking for a dead body. Her heart was broken and she didn’t recognize Jesus until he called her name. This resurrection experience opened her eyes and heart. Something happened when Jesus called her name. A spiritual change came over her. Leaving the empty tomb behind, she ran to tell the good news. “I have seen the Lord.” In her book, Knowing Christ Crucified, M. Shawn Copeland posited the importance of women as the first to learn about the resurrection. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James and the other women with them tell all that they had seen and heard to the apostles. This news left the disciples- women and men amazed and overwhelmed. Nonetheless, they were not derailed. The crucified Jesus is the risen Christ. We believe through faith.
Like Mary, we can’t allow a stone to prevent us from seeing the risen Jesus. Our faith tells us that each day we must roll away the stones in our lives that keep us from proclaiming the Gospel. Our faith is in the resurrected Christ. We are called to do as Mary did. Let us run ahead. Our world and communities are derailed by the reality of death. Easter is good news. Let us rekindle the Paschal candle blowing light and hope everywhere. We are proclaiming, “Christ is risen. Christ will come again. We sing our joy with Alleluia. Hallelujah. The video below sings the Easter joy. Jesus did not come down from that cross. This is LOVE.