At daybreak on the first day of the week the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus 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 puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “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 on the third day.” And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.
We are people who are greatly influenced by repetitive messages. We can complete many sayings that advertisements feed us all the time. “Can you hear me now?” “I’m lovin’ it.” “That was easy.” “Give me a break, give me a break. Break me off a piece of that — — — (Kit Kat Bar).” For that last one, we don’t even need the words. They just make the rhythm with ordinary sounds, but our minds sing the song.
That’s the key. Our minds take over and we can repeat what it says without really understanding the meaning deeply. Fortunately we are not alone in this lack of deep understanding. In today’s Gospel, the women who were close followers of Jesus, didn’t understand the message he was repeating throughout his life. They were puzzled and didn’t understand why Jesus’ body was not in the tomb where they left it.
Two men in dazzling garments asked the women, “Remember what Jesus said to you while he was still in Galilee? The son of man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” This is a message that Jesus repeated time and again. Don’t our parents repeat things that we don’t understand and we might get sick of hearing too? It isn’t until we get a little more experience that we finally get it.
“And they remembered his words.” Because the women understood, they excitedly brought the message to everyone else who was waiting for this incredible news! We hear the stories of Jesus over and over again, to the point where we could recite them in our sleep. Who or what do I need to wake me up to really understanding these stories are not clichés?
Once I understand, what do I need to do, to get out of my comfort zone and proclaim that Jesus Christ is risen? This is our job as Christians.