In the Gospel of Luke, the 24th chapter, we have the familiar account of Easter. Early that morning the women, having prepared the appropriate spices for anointing the dead, come to the tomb, find the stone rolled away, enter, and find no body of Jesus to anoint. The 4th verse, "while they were puzzling over this..." is the source of my reflection as I wish you, my brothers, a blessed Easter.
What does all of "this" mean...for them, for the follower, for Israel, for the women?
Jesus, having suffered the horrors of the passion, died on the cross, descended into hell, is brought to glory with the Father, and brings all humanity, all of us, into his glory. This is a new Exodus, a passage from the slavery of sin to a freedom of love and mercy. The message of Easter joy is proclaimed in a world that cries to know peace in Iran, Korea, Ukraine, in the senseless violence that spills blood in our cities, in the conflicts that divide families. The Alleluias are welcome and proclaimed. He is risen!
Many of you will very successfully proclaim to a needy world the beautiful message of Easter morning. I am confident of this.
But, what does all of "this" mean...for them, the women? What does all of this mean for us? Do we hear the proclamation ourselves? Is the gospel speaking to each of us...to me...to you? Can we sing the Alleluia, to ourselves? Do we believe that which we preach and proclaim to so many others? We are professional ministers...and we do it well! But Easter is also a personal message, a message of hope, of sadness transformed to joy, darkness to light, sin to grace, death to life, of love that has triumphed, mercy is victoriously present. Let us not only proclaim the Alleluias to a needy world, but let us recognize that we too need to heard that Alleluia ourselves, and that in fact the Alleluia is meant for us. Brothers, it is to you, wherever you are in your own journey of life this Easter, that I proclaim Alleluia, He is Risen! Hear the message! Receive the joy!
A blessed Easter..may the hope and new life of Easter fill your hearts with joy this season!