Easter Sunday Reflection

In our modern world of instant news, fake news, bad news and occasionally good news the Easter story of Mary Magdalene going to the grave early in the morning with no mobile phone or camera might seem a bit outdated. However, for us Christians she carried the most important piece of news of all times back to a frightened and disbelieving group. Could she be believed? Was she imagining things? Surely the tomb was well protected by the big stone? No gravediggers could enter so a woman couldn’t either. Mary was distraught by Jesus’ death as are so many who experience the death of a parent, a child, a relative or a friend and who go at strange times of the day to be with them in their final resting place.

For Mary, before long a familiar voice relieved her pain as she came face to face with her risen Lord. Yes, the disciples, Peter and John came to the grave but what did they expect to see? They had placed all their hopes in this man Jesus and he had let them down. Who are they now? Did they go to meet the risen Jesus or did they run there to check on Mary’s story? Where are we with the story of the Resurrection? Each of us must reflect on our own hopes and fears regarding our relationship with the risen Christ. Peter got to the tomb first we are told but it was John who put it all together. “He (John) saw and he believed”. What was there in Jesus and John’s relationship that had rendered him particularly sensitive to the presence of the risen Christ?
What about us today? Where do we see ourselves? Are we with Mary, or John or Peter in the tomb? Do we instinctively follow the Jesus of History and worship the Christ of faith. Do we rush like Peter to the tomb to see for ourselves what has happened? Do we call on our faith only when we are in trouble or in need of reassurance? Is our relationship like John’s?, always close to Jesus even to remaining at the foot of the Cross and so sensing God’s presence even when Jesus has gone to the other side?
So many questions to ponder but also so much reassurance from our Easter faith. We are an Easter people despite or because of our sufferings. Easter is celebrated each year since the Council of Nicaea, in 325CE, set the date for Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon occurring on or after the Spring Equinox which is a very significant date in our year. Let us celebrate with Mary because we too have met the Risen Christ.