by Fr Francis Anthony
Theme: Alleluia, He is Risen
Resurrection is always a mystery. But when you see it with the incarnation, then we find there is a reason.
The birth of Jesus was not in the normal way. The Holy Spirit will overshadow you. The child that will be born is of the Spirit. We find that in Luke’s Gospel. And we are seeing the life of this child as he grew up and especially during the public ministry. Jesus was doing a lot of miracles and this is not normal either. To give sight to the blind, ability to walk to the lame, to multiply bread and feed five thousand. You can enumerate all those. That shows there is something in him.
And during that moment of His public ministry, He was telling at least three times to His disciples that He will be going to Jerusalem, He will be handed over to the Chief Priests and Elders and they will put Him to death. And on the third day, will rise again.
So, Jesus dying on the cross, it is due to the instigation of the Jewish Leadership because they were jealous that Jesus’ teaching will supersede and nobody will listen to them. But at that moment, the twelve apostles and the disciples who heard that He would suffer and die and rise again, could not click the language. A dead man rising again?
In fact we read in the Acts of the Apostles when Paul was preaching to the Athenians, the great intellectuals of the world of those days. They were listening to him but when Paul told that Jesus died and rose again, they laughed. Yes.
We as Christians, we have studied from small and so we do not question. We got so used to it. The resurrection of Christ is the Catholic catechism. That is it. And it is reflected in today’s Gospel text.
You see these two men, Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved. They went to the tomb. They saw the remnants, the clothes and the cloth but the tomb was without Jesus. And the text here says:-
Then the other disciple who reached the tomb first also went in.
He saw and he believed.
What did he see?
He saw the empty tomb. Jesus was laid there a few hours earlier. He is no more there. And it is then he believed. He is not believing in the empty tomb. He is believing what Jesus has been speaking of His resurrection. As the text goes further and says:-
Till this moment, they failed to understand the teaching of scriptures, that He must rise from the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus is not a happy ending to a sad story of a cruel death on the cross. No. It is not. It is the mystery. Jesus came from God and he has returned to God. And this is what we speak of, the Paschal Mystery. We are in the Paschal period. From God to God. And that is what is happening.
So we are celebrating today the love of God for mankind. He made that promise when Adam and Eve fell, renewed so many so often in the old testament. And He sent His Son.
And so today, when we are celebrating Easter or the Resurrection of Jesus, we are celebrating God’s love for us. We are not celebrating that it is a happy ending to a sad story, especially the Passion and Death. We are celebrating God’s love for us and through the Resurrection, we have been saved.
We are the beneficiaries of this great Paschal event. The Paschal event is God coming from the Father, dwelling among us as recorded in Saint John’s Gospel and revealed the Father to us and He returned to the Father.
So today, and the whole of Easter Season, and this is the fundamental truth of our faith, let us thank God for the Good News that we have. Through His death, He has conquered sin. Through His death, He has wiped away darkness and given the light.
And we will have this light here, the whole till Pentecost. Let us ask God whenever we see this light, God let me be grateful for what you have done for me. It is not a story – Jesus rose, finished. Grateful for what You have done for me and I will rise up to this occasion and how I, in my own way, will be the light to others. Yes, just now the posters before Mass they say the light of Christ is here and all the small candles and all are not the light of Christ. Don’t misread it.
We are being challenged. We are saying ‘Hallelujah, God is risen. Darkness is taken away. Life is given.”
So through our own way of living and acting, through our relationship to others, make Christ alive. May we be the messengers. We do not have the apostles. We are the apostles. Let us be like Saint John, saw the empty tomb and he believed. Likewise, we believe. And Saint John, he brought Christ to the people through his preaching and his writing.
Let us ask God to give us the strength to make the resurrection alive in us and through us to others.
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