THIS IS THE DAY!
Easter Sunday (A)
The Resurrection of the Lord
Scriptural Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8; John 20:1-9
My dear encountered couples:
Failure is turned into success, victory comes out of defeat, for those who love God. That is what Easter is trying to tell us. What looked like the end of life for the best man to have ever lived was really the beginning. What looked like the end of his teachings and ideas was really the start of a new way of thinking and living that would last throughout the history of the world and into eternity. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loved by some and hated by others, was not dead and gone; he was alive and more present than ever before. What does that mean for you and for me?
It means we have nothing to really worry about. It means we who have been baptized and joined in the company of Christ will never really die. It means that success and victory await us just around the corner, at the end of our time on earth. Death for us will not mean the end, but a new and much better beginning. For all those who follow Christ, for all those who try to do the will of God, for all those who like the good thief reach out for God’s help, life will never end. It will change as did the life of Christ, but it will never be taken away.
Death and life aren’t two separate things as much as we might think. Endings and beginnings are more like sisters and brothers to one another.
We experience both of them many times during our lives. When you were born it was the end of your security within your mother, but the beginning of life in a bright, new world with a warm, loving family. When you went to school it was the end of safety with your family all the time, it was the beginning of others entering your life and friendship. When you graduate you leave the school and many of your friends behind, but you enter the world of business and production and meet many new wonderful people. When you marry, you move from the home of your parents to live with someone you love in a very different and exciting way. When you have a baby you lose much of your freedom to go here and there, but you gain a taste of heaven.
Nearly every time in our lives when something comes to an end, there is something else that begins. In a way a part of us dies, in a way a part of us for the first time begins to live. When you come to the end of your life on earth, when you die, that is when you will enter into a life that you’ve always dreamed of and hoped for.
Jesus, through his death and resurrection, guarantees that there is nothing that will rob us of our dreams - as long as we trust God, as long as we place our lives in his hands. “Into your hands, Father, I commend my spirit,” Jesus cried out as he died. And in his Father’s hands Jesus found life - Jesus rose from the dead.
Maybe we should start being more aware of the goodness that is hidden in all the things of life that we experience. So often we see only those things that are on the surface and we are blinded by what makes us feel sad and disappointed.
Instead of being depressed and discouraged when things don’t come out as we would like, or when changes must be made in our lives, let’s start looking for the new and the wonderful that is hidden somewhere beneath the surface.
This is the day when many children throughout the world look for things that were hidden by others. Colorful eggs, baskets filled with candy, surprises of many kinds are waiting for them if they look for them. This is the day Mary Magdalene, sad and dejected, went to the tomb looking for the body of Jesus, but instead of finding it she found the surprise of her life. It is to be that way with us too.
We are to believe in good things hidden everywhere by God; we are to look, and we are to find them. There is good hidden in every nook and cranny of our lives. There is nothing awful that does not also contain something wonderful. There is no sadness that does not contain somewhere deep inside a sleeping gladness waiting to be awakened. Peter and John ran to the tomb looking for the body of Jesus and found only the wrappings for his body and the cloth that covered his face. They suspected a miracle, they believed. Later they found their friend more alive and well than they had ever seen him before.
As you move through each day, and from day to day, you are given many opportunities for new insights, for new discoveries of things that were hidden by God from all eternity to be found by you and you alone. But you will not find them unless you believe they are there, unless you are interested in finding them, unless you look. Mary Magdalene would not have found the living Christ unless she looked; neither would have Peter and John. Only those who are open for newness, only those who believe in wonders and look for them, only those who want them will get them.
Today, Easter, is not only for celebrating the success and victory of Jesus over sin and death. It is for celebrating yours! You were once baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus, you now share in his success and victory. Even though the Lent of your life has not yet ended, the Easter of your eternity has already begun. Temptations and trials are still in your future, but hope and life are given you now to help you through anything you will ever have to face. This is the day the Lord has made. Be glad and rejoice. For at this very moment you are at the beginning of a new and wonderful life. HAPPY EASTER!