We have followed Christ in an intimate way during Holy Week. “Death with life contended: combat strangely ended!”[1] Now it is Easter Sunday. The pace changes. Our hearts are changing from one of sorrow to exultant joy. Alleluia is on our minds, hearts, and lips. The tomb is empty!

Do you recognize the significance of the empty tomb? Mary of Magdala does not, she cries out to Simon Peter and to John “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb…and we don’t know where they have put him.[2] You can hear the anguish in her voice that reflects her troubled mind and soul. However, the beloved disciple does recognize the significance of the empty tomb. “He saw and he believed.[3]

Yes, indeed the Lord is Risen! No tomb can hold Him, no linen cloths can bind Him, death cannot have the last word. He comes forth from the tomb with a glorified resurrected Body. For “by his Spirit, which was incapable of dying, he dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow.[4]

Yes, a fatal blow. “He is the One who smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the One who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made a new priesthood, a people chosen to be his own for ever. He is the Passover that is our salvation.[5]

Yes, He is the Passover that is our salvation.[6] God’s only Son cannot be held in death but rises in glory. “Life’s own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign.[7] As He lives, so will you live.

But will you recognize Him in the garden of your soul, or still look into the empty tomb? No, don’t hesitate, don’t waste time with the empty tombs of false promises, for life awaits you, eternal life, a risen life - for Christ, your Lord, is Risen.

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

[1] Sequence for Easter Sunday/Octave

[2] Jn.20:2

[3] Jn.20:8

[4] From An Easter Homily by St. Melito of Sardis, 2nd Reading Office of Readings Maundy Thursday

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Sequence for Easter Sunday/Octave

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