He is Risen! Alleluia!!
A couple of years ago I had the privilege to go to a pilgrimage to Holy Land. We had the privilege to make the Way of the Cross to Calvary and visits where Jesus was crucified and buried. We celebrated Mass at the Church of Holy Sepulcher. It was a faith filed moment. Calvary is not a huge hill, considering where Jesus went to pray or where He transfigured, Calvary is a small one. Why? I don’t think Romans want to climb the huge hill to kill somebody. They chose Calvary for their own convenience. For Jesus, it is not just walking up the hill. He was scourged, crowned with thorns and carrying the cross. He was carrying our burdens. Jesus’ crucifixion site and Jesus’ tomb are in the Church of Holy Sepulcher.
At Easter Vigil, the first reading from the Book of Genesis, we read the creation story. In the Gospel of Matthew, we read an Easter Vigil, “After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.” Jesus on the Easter Sunday morning does a new creation, brought new life.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary brought spices to anoint the body of Jesus. Can you imagine when you walk into a tomb, fully expecting to see a dead body, and you see instead someone alive and well—someone different than the man who was buried there! Today we celebrate Easter. He is Risen!
This Easter experience is a past event, a present reality, and future hope. And we have this faith. This faith flows from our Easter experience. The death of the Lord effected a transformation of reality, a new creation. He was raised up.
Easter is a celebration of present reality. The reality is that Jesus lives! Not that Jesus died and rose again in the past, but that Jesus lives among us and within us right here, and right now. This is our Easter proclamation. We experience his presence in our lives in many beautiful ways. He is among us and within us when we are together as a community. He is here in the proclamation of the scripture for he is the very Word of God. We experience his real presence in the sacraments. The water that poured at the baptism is God's life poured into that person. When the sacred chrism put on the foreheads of the confirmed is the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit that comes upon them empowering them to lead others to Christ. When you receive communion we receive Jesus Christ, his very life.
Easter is the celebration of future hope. This future hope is that we will all share in the fullness of the New Life. When we are baptized we are given a share of the Resurrection of the Lord, we become a new creation. Easter is the celebration of hope. Our hope is that we will share in the fullness of the New Life Jesus won for us through His suffering and death. It is our hope in Christ that helps us endure challenges like the coronavirus. The coronavirus has brought the pain of sickness, uncertainties, and confusion, but our faith gives us hope, beyond this pain and struggles, Easter Sunday tells us there is hope. The fullness of hope and happiness is Eternal Life.