Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
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)
“There is no Church unless Jesus is risen from the dead.” It’s kind of hard to argue with that, but do we really believe it? Today is one of those unique days: tulips, painted eggs, chocolate crosses, festive breads, haircuts, new clothes, and a benevolent bunny. But does any of this really matter? We might prepare ourselves differently for today, but our cultural practices pale in comparison to the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. Our entire faith depends on this truth and I don’t think that there is any one practice that can capture this.
Easter is more than a day, it’s an entire season. It’s safe to say that the first witnesses to the resurrection weren’t interrupting their Easter-egg hunt. They were humbly awakening to the glory of Jesus rising from the dead. It took them time to absorb this truth and there were moments when they had trouble seeing and believing. While we are born into the truth of His resurrection, we still have the same human limitations of those first witnesses.
It takes us time to absorb this central tenet of our faith and we are plagued by our own doubts and fears. It sometimes helps to remember that Easter is still close to Good Friday; we cannot fully absorb the resurrection without the cross. We don’t bury the cross today, we know that our own pain and suffering does not disappear, but today we witness the redemptive quality of human suffering. In the end suffering and death will not win; we too will rise with Jesus.
—Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, Provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province
Lord, on this glorious day we claim your victory over death. We embrace your promise that whoever believes in you will never die. We ask you to connect our love with those who have gone before us. Remind them, Lord, that our hearts will forever be with them.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!