This has been the most barren Lent that I have ever experienced, a time away from the majority of you whom I love deeply. We went through the beauty of the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) with just myself, Fr. Mark, Deacon Chance, Deacon Tom, Lynne, Don, and Andy our videographer. I have never been through a Triduum with that small of a group. It made me think of who was around Jesus as he died – Mary his mother, John the beloved disciple and a few others. It made me think who was there when they buried Jesus, and early in the morning it was a few that went to the tomb. Perhaps this Easter is the time for us to connect even more with those few.
I encourage you this Easter Sunday Morning to re-read the Scriptures from each gospel about the events of that early Easter Morn:
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'" Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” Mk 16: 2-8
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' Then they remembered his words.” Lk 24: 1-8
“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.’ ” Mt 28:8-10.
Also read John 20:1-13.
On this Easter morning poignantly different from every other Easter that I have ever experienced – this is a chance to deeply walk with the few who experienced the empty tomb. I like what Jesus says in the Gospel of Mt 28:10: “Do not be afraid.” Do not be afraid my beloved to walk with Christ, to walk as Christians of deep faith, despite our own fears, trembling, bewilderment and the emptiness that we may feel. Easter is a great time to remember the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the victory over suffering and death and the reminder of Easter Hope. We should never lose hope.
May the joy of Easter and the hope of the Resurrection be your beacon amidst the uncertainties and darkness of the world.
Happy Easter – He is Risen as he said!