Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
Every person who has made an Emmaus Retreat knows that victory shout all too well. As St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians “... if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.” (I Cor.15:14)
That’s why you are here today. That’s why we gather here every Sunday, some of us every day, to share the table of the Lord, to celebrate the truth that lays at the very heart of our faith life: He is risen from death, and overcoming death means we have the promise of life, Life Eternal.
There are all kinds of jokes about Christmas and Easter Catholics, but I guess a sign of my age is that I can’t remember any of them right now. Maybe that’s a very good thing because the bottom line is that I am very glad to see everyone who comes today. I keep telling the regulars to be nice to our extra folks because hopefully they liked what they found so much that they will keep coming.
We want to create the environment of WELCOME.
Did you ever think about the empty tomb being a sign of welcome? In John’s Gospel which we read today, Mary Magdalene and the women came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled aside. They ran back to the Apostles. John’s gospel says Peter and the “other disciple” ran to the tomb and Peter went in first.
It's almost touching that John the Evangelist only refers to himself as the “other disciple.” For me, the extraordinary lines are what follow:
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.
I wonder if just for a flash, just the fact that Jesus was not there really created a huge empty space that begged to be filled.
I don’t mean that someone else should die to fill the tomb. I mean that the very personality of Jesus was so great that His very absence created a huge vacuum that pulled the disciples in.
What next? Where would they go? What would they do?
Maybe that’s just a personal pondering, but I think I want to stay with the thought for a while. I would like to try and imagine the experience of Pe¬ter and John and ultimately the other apostles and the women.
Look what the empty tomb did in their lives. Before the tomb they were literally hiding. (Interesting that the women came out first in the dark to go to the tomb...) But the “other disciple” gave a very personal testimony: “He saw and believed.”
They were already on their way to being totally dedicated followers even before the Pentecost experience which ultimately explodes and blows them all out of the hiding places of hesitation.
I hope my pondering and yours will bring us to a deeper sense of realizing just how much God loves us. We say it all the time. We are loved Unconditionally. But how can we give even deeper mea¬ing to those words? How can we get closer?
Annie, Patricio, Judy and I all pray that you can experience a new “angle” on God’s love for you. We will be praying for that, especially for our be¬loved “visitors.”
Hope your Easter eggs came out beautifully. My mom took a deep breath every year and let us do our own. Moms are great!
In OUR RISEN LORD,