“Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified and rise of the third day.” (Lk 24:5-7)
This was the message that the two men dressed in dazzling garments delivered to the women who had come to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. If you ever go up to the choir loft in Old St. Mary, you will see a depiction of this Easter event in a beautiful stained glass window. The reaction of the women to the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection reflects our human reaction to God’s intervention in time and history. They knew the Master and followed Him up to his crucifixion on Calvary. Everything seemed to end and they came to mourn the loss of their Beloved.
What was this? They discovered an empty tomb and had an encounter with heavenly messengers. Their whole understanding of Jesus was turned upside down. No wonder the women reacted in fear as they entered a new mystery. They were invited to “remember” the words that Jesus spoke while on earth about his coming death and resurrection. With that remembrance, they went forth to share what they had experienced with the others who considered this news to be nonsense. Only an encounter with the Risen Lord would convince them that He was truly risen. Jesus was now present in the “today” of their lives.
The Good News that we hear today is that our God is a God of surprises. In 2016 we have seen so much injustice and violence. People are so divided in many arenas and cannot see the goodness in “the other.” Some people in our world consider the Easter message to be nonsense and that we are fools for believing in a Risen Lord. On the contrary, our God is a powerful God who leads his people through the Red Sea, who refreshes and renews us in the sacraments of initiation and who breathes new life and hope into a weary world by the power of His Spirit. Jesus is alive, alleluia!
We can put aside all our doubts and fears and approach the Risen Lord with a joy that is beyond description. In this Year of Mercy, God presses the reboot button and gives us all a chance to start over. What blessings we have received in the Risen Lord. Wishing you and your families the blessings of the Easter season on behalf of Fr. Tim and me. He is risen as He said, alleluia!
Fr. Mike Michalski