Reflection for Easter Sunday – the Resurrection of the Lord

 Supposed you visited a faithful grave site and found a gaping hole there with the headstone gone. You would that the cemetery workers had moved the remains the tomb of Jesus  on Easter Sunday somewhere else and the stone had to be corrected. You would never have thought that the body buried there had risen . This is what Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John thought when they arrived at the tomb of Jesus on Easter Sunday morning. Dead bodies do not get up and walk away.
         Our faith began in a cemetery, not in a stable, not at the River Jordan, not in an upper room. The first resurrection appearances happened in a cemetery garden. Maybe that is why many cemeteries look like beautiful parks and are such quiet and peaceful places to visit. For believers, cemeteries are places of memories and reminder of resurrected life. People love to visit their love one’s graves , to sit on the grass, say some prayers, and remember the happy times and faces. We do not need anyone to tell us that our loved ones are not there. We know that. We believe that they are risen. That is what Easter tells us: Jesus is risen and some day so will we.
         Cemeteries are holy ground – Easter places – and Easter tells us that the tomb of jesu is empty. He is not there. He has gone ahead of us. Easter tells us that the graves of or dearly departed are also empty. Or loved ones are alive and are with God and we will see them again. Finally, Easter tells us that our graves will also be empty. When death comes, it will be only for an instant. We will continue to live with our Risen Lord, with our loved ones, and with all the saints of the ages. Easter tells us that we were born to live forever. The stone is rolled away.
      All the same, there is precious little humor to be found in cemeteries. Too much pain and sadness rest beneath the sod. Laying the body of a loved one to rest is an occasion for tears, not laughter. Only an empty tomb can evoke laughter –  an abandoned tomb where a few stains and wrinkles clothes are all that remain to show the death once reigned in that place. Only those who peer into an empty tomb and find no corpse can smile and laugh. The abandoned Tom into which we peer today is not only the Lord’s but our own as well. By the power of His Resurrection, we, too, will be raised to new and everlasting life. Because the grave of Jesus is empty, our grave will be empty. The power of sin and death has been broken and it is up to us now to laugh, dance, sing, smile, rejoice, and go forward to carry this good news to all our brothers and sisters. Jesus is alive and we will see him. Our loved ones are alive and we will see them again. Because of His Resurrection, we, too, will live forever.
Happy Easter to all ! Alleluia!
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ