2019 Lenten Reflections - Easter Sunday
By: Deacon Brogan Ryan, C.S.C. - Rector, Keough Hall
Friends, Happy Easter!
Today we arrive at the tomb of Jesus, our beloved friend and savior, with the women of Galilee – Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary, the Mother of James – the first witnesses to the Resurrection. We all arrive at the tomb with our own expectations. The first disciples come after the trauma of Good Friday to mourn their leader and friend. They are carrying spices that they expect to leave outside his sealed tomb. They hope to simply pay their respects. We arrive at the end of Holy Week and at the end of our own Lenten journeys. We each carry our individual Lenten offerings and Easter expectations for what resurrection and new life will look like for us.
So, on this Easter morning as we arrive at the tomb with the women and find the stone unexpectedly rolled back, we are invited to be surprised by what Resurrection can look like in our life. The women are puzzled when they look into the tomb and find it empty; the body of the Lord Jesus is completely gone, disappeared. Their puzzlement turns to terror when the angels tell them: “He is not here, but He has been raised.” The empty tomb is certainly not what they were expecting. However they remember the words of Jesus – that the Son of Man would be crucified, but that he would rise on the third day – and the memory of this promise gives them the confidence to announce what they have seen as Resurrection to others.
Like the women, we are invited to have confidence in the face of the empty tomb. Jesus is not Dead, He is Alive! We stand at the edge of the tomb and share the puzzlement of the women, but we know that an empty tomb means that Jesus has completely risen. He has taken all that we’ve laid on him, all of our sorrow, sinfulness, and hurt, even death itself, and brought it to new life. This is the promise of Easter and the source of our hope as Christians!
The empty tomb reminds us that there is no failure the Lord’s love cannot reverse, no humiliation He cannot exchange for blessing, no anger He cannot dissolve, no routine He cannot transfigure. All is swallowed up in the victory of the Resurrection; nothing is left untouched by Easter’s light.
Whatever new life you prayed for this Easter and wherever you hoped to see Resurrection, may the wonder of the empty tomb give you the confidence to say with renewed vigor: our God is not dead, He’s alive! Alleluia! Alleluia!