Easter Sunday | Year C
Luke 24:1-12On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, the women went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but on entering discovered that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there. As they stood there not knowing what to think, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side. Terrified, the women lowered their eyes. But the two men said to them, ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; he has risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee: that the Son of Man had to be handed over into the power of sinful men and be crucified, and rise again on the third day?’ and they remembered his words.
When the women returned from the tomb they told all this to the Eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them also told the apostles, but this story of theirs seemed nonsense, and they did not believe them.
Peter, however, went running to the tomb. He bent down and saw the binding cloths, but nothing else; he then went back home, amazed at what had happened.
ReflectionThe women “remembered his words”, that he would be crucified and rise again on the third day. Those words of Jesus must have been one more of his sayings that the disciples puzzled over when they heard them, but because they couldn’t make any sense of them, they forgot about them.
The angel gave the women the context for all the things that had happened over the previous few days. The realization that Jesus had known what was to unfold and that it was part of God’s plan must have been powerfully reassuring for the women and the disciples, especially as the resurrection itself would have been something of a mystery to them until they actually met the risen Jesus.
In a myriad of ways, small and large, we live the paschal mystery of death and resurrection in their lives. It is often not evident when events are unfolding that they are part of this mystery, and only in hindsight does the pattern emerge. Like the women, sometimes we need it explained to us, or we only come to understand it after a time of reflection.
Nature contains a great metaphor for the paschal mystery. It continually dies and renews itself. Time contains the same message as darkness is followed by light each day. The paschal mystery is written in everything that surrounds us, and these things help us to understand its significance and power. But we learn the most from the pattern of death and resurrection in our own lives. God personalises the experience for us and it is uniquely ours.
This is the best time of the year, around Easter, to take time to reflect upon the action of God in our lives and our own truly personal experience of the paschal mystery, whatever form that might take.