Easter Sunday 2022

Jesus risen

Today is probably the only day when the word ‘empty’ means something positive. Normally it is associated with something negative, something that was lost: an empty church for example, an empty wallet, an empty bank account, an empty plate, fridge. The feeling of emptiness is accompanied by surprise, disbelief, that we lost something suddenly, that our mother, father, husband or wife, have died, that we lack something, that we overlooked something very precious and we are left with nothing. Disbelief is mixed with fear because we are not sure what our lives will be like from now on – our life without our beloved ones. How will we manage?  Where should we go, and whom should we trust? All these feelings mix in our hearts and this is exactly the same what happened after Jesus’ death. Everything was supposed to slowly get back to normality, like a chapter that has closed, like His grave was closed with a heavy stone.

This is what the women from today’s Gospel experienced. They were surprised and frightened at the same time, to find that the tomb was empty. But this particular emptiness was the blessed emptiness, that signified the Good News that Jesus had risen. Let us take a look at how the women reacted to what they saw and heard. The Gospels say that they were ‘fearful’ and ‘overjoyed’. We may ask why these two such extreme emotions become intertwined in this particular event and not at any other? As we know, in normal circumstance, nobody gets excited at a cemetery. We usually despair, rather than anything else because it is the place where we say our final goodbyes. I deeply believe though, that these two emotions, in the most beautiful way, define this time of the Triduum, which we have celebrated together and what happened before and after the death of Jesus. On the other hand, the feeling of fear can make us aware, that what happened on Golgotha is not merely a historical event but the real story of the Son of God, who out of love for us, sacrificed Himself and died on the Cross for me and for you.

Maybe at times, we can get the impression that our sins are much heavier than this stone covering the entrance to the tomb of Jesus. What should we do, knowing that our sins are heavy and weigh us down? Who is able to help us? Is there any hope for us at all? How can we get out of our emptiness? We can only do this with God’s help. Only He can lift us up. We should not worry because we are not lost. We are not condemned; we are not forgotten. Jesus Christ, our Saviour dispels the darkness of sin, His resurrection ends something but also starts something new. Indeed, the way of Jesus, His mission is accomplished but now our mission, our way towards salvation begins. Through the grace of the risen Lord, we come back from death to life, from sin to grace, from disbelief to faith. Nothing can scare us anymore. Today we worship the risen Christ, the conqueror of sin and death, but we need to know that we cannot stay at the empty tomb forever. Jesus is not there anymore. We need to share this Good News with others, who mourn because of their sins, lack of hope, with those who are in despair because they have lost their faith. If we stay in front of the tomb, it means that we do not understand the love of God, which is dynamic and alive. Our love must also be dynamic and alive because this world – which is empty, troubled and corrupted, is waiting for you and for me, as witnesses of the Resurrection.

I will end with a prayer. I know my Lord, that I must act more than celebrate. I know that you are alive, risen from the death and you have shown me the blessed emptiness, which fills my heart with joy. Please surprise me Jesus, with the mystery of Your resurrection, surprise me with your glorious victory. Amen.