by Sr Bridget O’Connell FMA
On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in, dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. (Luke 24:1-10)
Remember – Easter invites to “remember how he told you”.
After Good Friday there is a pause and a stillness as the extent of the loss sinks in. T S Eliot speaking in his Four Quartets says: “Wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing.” The not knowing what to hope for was very much the experience of the disciples on that morning. They had been so confident until the events of the previous week.
There was no rushing towards Easter Sunday, but on that dawn there was a reminder of a different reality for the disciples. They began to remember that this is what Jesus had told them. Good Friday will not be the end -Jesus is Risen. Remembering his life, his words and the experience of being in his presence enabled the women to cope with their fear and to bring the message of his Resurrection to the others. This is Easter.
When we remember, we find reminders that Easter surrounds us in every circumstance of life.
Easter does not change our reality but it is an invitation to awareness of another kind of reality and way of living. Every aspect of human living is a gift and also a responsibility, a promise and an uncertainty. Life experiences can rock us back and forth between total trust and the deepest despair. We live between the threshold of faith and doubt, between joy and sadness. The invitation of Easter is to remember that Jesus is Risen in each of those experiences.
In birth and in new life, Jesus is Risen
When the night is dark, we know the dawn will bring the morning, Jesus is Risen
In our world so full of suffering, the people of hope, who reach out and give time and energy to ease the pain they see, Jesus is Risen.
In a time of grief when a wave of loss surrounds us and then there comes a moment of peace, Jesus is Risen
When there is forgiveness in the face of hurt and disappointment, Jesus is Risen
These Easter days are a time to remember all that “He has told us” in our own life stories.