Solemnity of the Resurrection
“Dear brothers and sisters, on this most sacred night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church calls upon her sons and daughters, scattered throughout the world, to come together to watch and pray, to listen to his Word and celebrate the Easter Mysteries.”
The words of this familiar invitation mark the beginning of the Church’s Easter Celebration. Although most will be unable to attend the Easter Liturgies, we are gathered as one in the presence of Christ our Risen Lord. Whenever we turn to the Scriptures, especially the Easter Readings, ours is a real and living communion with the Risen Christ.
The Easter Liturgy began with the kindling of fire, a reminder that Christ is the Light revealed in our darkness. Despite our frailties and uncertainties, he remains the triumphant Light that the darkness could never overcome.
At a time when few can discern a clear path to the future, the Easter Liturgy sets before us the fleeing tribes of Israel who walked dry-shod through a sea that had seemed to block their path. As they were delivered through the waters of the Red Sea, we also have been delivered through the waters of Baptism.
In the days ahead let us accompany those women who, in Matthew’s account, journeyed to the tomb on that first Easter morning. We can be sure that they travelled with heavy hearts; surely they, like us, were searching for comfort and reassurance.
“And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings,’ he said. And the women, falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; they will see me there.’”
As the Risen Lord went before his disciples to Galilee, so he goes before us in our present uncertainties. May he comfort us with the words spoken to his disciples in St John’s account of their first encounter with the Risen Lord.
“In the evening of that same day, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them. ‘Peace be with you. As the father sent me, so am I sending you.’ And saying this he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
May we come to rejoice in the gift of his Spirit and the abiding peace of his presence.
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