EASTER: JOHN 20:1-9

Easter is the greatest and most important feast in the Church. The resurrection of Christ is the basis of our Christian faith. The Resurrected Christ is the center and hope of the Christian life. Easter gives us a message of hope and new life. The resurrection of Jesus gives us the message that our lives are not going to end in this world, but that there is always hope. When all my expectations are as dark as night, I feel only suffering and crosses and others blame me always, but the Resurrected Christ gives me hope that the sun will rise tomorrow. Let us find the Risen Lord and experience Him and bring Him to be a part of our lives. This is the joy and beauty of the Christian life.

After the death of their master, the disciples were living through a crisis. Their hopes were shattered; their plans and their many expectations were left unfulfilled. They faced a real emptiness and darkness was all around them. Fear, anxiety, frustration, and a sense of hopelessness ruled their hearts. But in the midst of hopelessness and fear, they heard this astonishing and surprising news: “He is not here but He has risen.”

The resurrection of Jesus is proof that truth cannot be hidden, love cannot be buried, and faith and hope will not be fruitless. The enemies of Jesus believed that they had put an end to Him; and therefore His teachings and His values had been buried forever. But they were mistaken; the tomb could not hold the Lord of this universe, evil could not overpower Him, and sin could not destroy His mission. Jesus gained victory over evil.

Easter gives us the joyful message that we are a “Resurrection people.” This means that we are not supposed to be buried in the tomb of our sins, evil habits, dangerous addiction, discouragement or doubts. Instead, we are expected to live a joyful and peaceful life and to constantly experience the living presence of our resurrected Christ in all the events of our lives and even in the middle of our sufferings, pains, and the day-to-day struggles of our lives.

In the Gospel reading, we heard that Mary Magdalene visited the tomb of Jesus. Mary Magdalene saw the stone rolled back and went running to the disciples. She said: “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put Him.” The “other disciple,” who ran to the empty tomb with Peter, entered into the tomb and believed. I believe that this “unnamed disciple” could be you or me. They saw the linen cloths lying on the ground and the empty tomb. Then the disciples went back home.

Nevertheless, Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping; she “wanted to see Jesus” and “wanted know where they had put Him.” This shows her great “desire” to see and experience Jesus personally. Jesus noticed her desire to see Him. Jesus appeared to her and said, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”

Even though she failed to recognize Jesus at first — when Jesus called her by name — Mary knew Him and called Him “Master.” Mary then begins to cling passionately to Jesus, not wanting to let Him go, out of her love for Jesus. But she had to let go. And so, Mary ran back to the disciples proclaiming her personal experience: “I have seen the Lord.” A sinful woman is given this unique privilege of being “The first to proclaim the Risen Jesus.” Mary became the “Apostle to the apostles.” Let us proclaim with Mary’s believing and joyful heart, “Christ is Risen! Alleluia!”