He is Not Here

Gospel Reflection
Easter Year A
He is Not Here

              No one was a witness to what happened that night.  Jesus had died a day earlier around three in the afternoon after agonizing hours hanging on a cross.  In the apostles’ panic and utter dejection, they had not thought about it at all.  They only desired to perform a simple act of decency:  to provide for a burial and they did so.

              Two days later, on the morning of the first day of the week, which we call Sunday, the women went to the tomb, much like mourners who are drawn to the grave of their loved ones.  What they experienced there is the start of a completely new story.  They saw how the stone had been rolled way; a messenger of God, an angel, spoke to them.  “He is not here, for he is risen.”  They looked inside; the tomb was empty.  It must already have been empty when the stone was still sealed in front of it, guarded by soldiers.  What had happened?  The outcome was obvious:  “He is not here.” 

There was a mixture of confusion, fear, and joy.  Had he not said he would rise from the dead?  But what does that mean?  Everything would have remained unclear had he not shown himself, first to the women, then to the apostles and so many others.  They all declared firmly and clearly that they saw him, touched him, that he spoke with them.  They all testify to this fact:  He lives!  But not as he had lived before, in a mortal body, but in a completely different way:  He appeared came through closed doors, and then was suddenly gone. 

If they were having hallucinations, this little band would have dispersed a long time ago.  The fact of the matter is that up to this day people throughout the world say the same thing:  He lives!  Let us celebrate that we experience his presence, his nearness and his help.  We believe:  He is risen!  This is the joy of Easter.  May God bless you and your family as we celebrate this great truth!


Father Tony