But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.
The women were terrified and bowed 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, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.
Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
I once asked a friend if I could see the playlist on his MP3 player. I was a little taken back when he said, “That’s personal.” I know the social norms about questioning a person’s age, weight, or income; I never thought to include musical taste in this category. But when you think about it, there is something very personal about our favorite songs. We use music to soothe our mood and enliven our soul. Whether it’s passive listening or active singing, the song in our head often reflects what is going on inside of us. It’s no wonder that music is so integral to the prayers of people of faith. In song we can praise and thank God when the spoken word is just not enough.
Tonight we chant one of my favorite songs, although it’s really more of a prayer than a song. After the sun sets and darkness fills the sky, we will light the Paschal candle and begin the great Vigil of Easter. With the words, “Exalt, let them exalt . . .” we proclaim that Jesus Christ has risen. There are no bells or trumpets (at least not yet) just a solo voice awakening us to the greatest story ever told—that Jesus has conquered sin and death. It is not done with fanfare; it is an ancient chant that reveals meaning and purpose to our lives. We do not live in vain, our faith is real, and through Christ’s resurrection we will be redeemed.
While the Exultet is chanted, each member of the assembly lights his or her own candle from the flame of the Paschal candle. As the “Light of Christ” grows in the church, so spreads the Good News of our Lord’s resurrection. I can think of nothing better to sing about. And, yes, the Exultet is on my playlist!
—Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, Provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province
Lord, when the women return from visiting the tomb, the other disciples find their announcement ridiculous. We, too, Lord, are like those believers – confident when all is well but doubting when we lose our footing. Touch our soul so we will trust in the empty tomb and realize that “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience … We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” —Teilhard de Chardan
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!