A reflection by Fr. Peter Hughes – The Regional Director for Britain
If you want to discover what’s really going on in a story, follow the women. If you are curious about how the plot of a book, film, or show is going to resolve itself, follow the female characters, because the men… and the rest of the story… will soon catch up with them. This is true in the story of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is a female disciple, Mary Magdalen, who takes our hand and walks us quickly onto the stage of Easter Sunday. Mary doesn’t go to the tomb on Saturday, because no work can be done on the Sabbath. So early Sunday, while it is still dark, Mary walks alone to the burial garden and sees something, or, more precisely, doesn’t see something, that changes world history. The dead body of Jesus is not on the slab! The stone is rolled away! The tomb is empty! Mary Magdalen is witness one, the first of billions to know that Jesus rose from the dead. Witness one then quickly runs to tell the good news to witnesses two and three, the Apostles Peter and John. Thus the first links in the endless chain of believers were forged, a strong, enduring chain that has wended its way through history until today.
Easter celebrates the miracle of all miracles, the greatest unexpected result of all time. So today we raise a toast to a fresh spring morning two thousand years ago. In a garden moist with dew, with small birds chirping and flowers’ bending toward the dawning sun, in a small, darkened hollow cut into the rock, a dead man, risen from the dead. He stepped out into a new world where death was no longer the master. The ageless, see-saw battle between life and death was resolved in favour of the more powerful. The mind wonders at the beauty of it all.
Lent is over and it is now time to celebrate the great joy of Easter!
We must “cling” to our Resurrected Lord! We must cling to Jesus who is alive and well. Take joy in everything. Start with whatever it is that burdens you the most. Whatever it is that makes you angry, sad or depressed. Whatever that is, it can potentially become one of your greatest sources of grace and joy. If the brutal Crucifixion of Jesus, the Son of God, can turn out to be the greatest event in all of human history, then your personal suffering, your burden, or even your sin can very much become a source of great joy as long as you let God transform it into part of His Resurrection!
Easter means that nothing can keep us from the joy that God wants to give us. Sure, at times we will struggle just as Jesus did in the Agony of the Garden and the Way of the Cross, but those sufferings will not win. At this time we are experiencing the terrible disease of the Coronavirus this is part of our Lent that we experience before the Resurrection.
Know that God wants you to experience the joy of Easter in your life. Let Him fill you with hope and with the joy that only the Resurrection can bring. God wants Easter to begin now in our lives!