Mar 26, 2018

Gospel Reflection, Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord, Year B
Acts 10: 34a, 37-43; 1 Corinthians 5: 6b-8; Mark 16: 1-7 or John 20: 1-9

Imagine what it would have been like to be Mary of Magdala, Peter, or John in the gospel story.  They could not possibly have anticipated what happened.  They had spent so much time with their Master and Teacher whom they loved.  They had found great hope in he who brought healing and showed them how to live.  But now they wanted to put closure on what had been an exciting time in their lives.  Anointing his dead body was to be a last loving gesture.  It was the least that Mary of Magdala could do.  When have we had life take a cruel turn?  When have we faced the stone in front of us and asked, “Who will roll the stone back for us?”  When have we felt that something important to us was taken away? 

Jesus really was dead and crucified and there really was finality to it – or so it seemed.  Sometimes it can seem that way to us because, after all, our lives end the same way – in the grave.  But, in reality, this is not the end!  God has broken into the tragic human drama and reversed what had seemed like the inevitable.  God raised Jesus from the dead!  God has broken into our human experience of moving on to the next exciting thing that grabs our attention and has charted a course for us that will last forever. 

Jesus says it himself: “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.” How about us?  Do we seek Jesus, the crucified when we are tempted to despair over a tragic event in our lives, when we cannot exactly find our way in life and we know it, or when we are tempted to simply move on from religion?  Yet, In Jesus, the crucified, God has acted definitively and pulls us out of a life doomed to the grave where we are only self-absorbed in what we can touch, see, hear, taste, and smell.  Our Lord Jesus is not in our past.  He is not in the grave.  He is ahead of us waiting to be with us each time death appears to have won a victory.  Peter, the other disciples and the women all received new life and new reason for hope as they saw and believed. 

As we come to the empty tomb today, may this hope always be ours!  Let us trust in this reality in the way we love and serve each other, and in our choice to love God.  Then the one who has conquered death will pull us up and into the fullness of life.  Have a great Easter and God bless you all!

Father Tony