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Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 31, 2013

Gospel: John 20:1‐9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. 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.

Reflection

Yesterday, the Church sat entombed in darkness, reflecting the passion and death of Jesus, filled with overwhelming emotions that arise when one reflects upon the excruciating sufferings that Jesus endured for us and for our salvation. Today, the Church is bursting with light. Joy fills every pew, every sanctuary, and every heart with the announcement that He Is Risen … Alleluia. The Easter candle shines forth brightly and the new waters of baptism flow freshly from every font. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia becomes the resounding response from all who believe.

Easter Sunday, 2013! As we once again enter into the story of the gospel, we are again asked to join with Mary Magdalene and the other women as they walk to the tomb early that Sunday morning. They wonder who will roll back the stone for them — who will roll back the stone for us — only to find that the stone had already been rolled back and that the tomb was empty. It could not hold Jesus. It could not contain his power, could not overcome his love. And it is through the resurrection of Jesus that we discover that the tomb no longer symbolizes death, but rather is the place where we discover life … everlasting life.

This is the story of Easter, that death is conquered through the person of Jesus Christ who in suffering death opened the doors to everlasting life. It is Jesus who breaks open the gates of heaven and welcomes those who believe, to share in his life, life eternal. And through the eyes of these women we are asked the most fundamental of questions: “Do you believe that Jesus has truly risen? Do you believe that he is Lord, the Son of God?”
For me, as a Christian, I embrace this Easter Sunday with renewed hope and renewed faith, acknowledging that Jesus is my Savior and that because of Him I am called to be a person of joy and a person of love. This was his teaching while he walked on this earth and now he extends this same mission to everyone who believes in Him. Salvation has come once and for all. Today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.

On behalf of the Viatorian Community, I would like to extend my sincere prayer that you and your families experience the power and love of the Resurrection of Jesus and that you have a most wonderful and Happy Easter this day.

Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV, Provincial
Clerics of St. Viator – Province of Chicago