Easter Sunday of the
Resurrection of the Lord
Acts 10: 34-43
Colossians 3: 1-4
John 20: 1-9
"…the other disciple also went in (to the tomb)…and he saw and believed."
Easter is a wakeup call – to a beautiful day and a wonderful way of life. I often reflect on the Easter experience. One thing that I find intriguing is that Jesus’ disciples, who were in hiding…totally disappointed…totally lost…suddenly changed. Not just one of them, but all of them. When they had an experience of the risen Lord, they came out of hiding, and looking back, finally understood what Jesus was all about.
The resurrected Christ was not the same as he was before. He could appear and disappear, he could change his looks so he wouldn’t be recognized, yet he could eat and be touched. The followers of Jesus recognized him, believed in him and changed. They went from a group of frightened and scattered followers to a group of excited men and women, anxious to share their joy, their insights, and their love. That is the miracle of Easter.
In today’s Gospel, John talks about the "other disciple" who ran to the empty tomb with Peter and upon entering it, "…he saw and believed." Some scholars believe that this unnamed disciple could be you or me.
Many years ago, I experienced the Risen Lord in a most profound and powerful way. For me, Good Friday was the end of my long and painful journey into alcoholism. In the depths of my hopelessness and despair, I cried out for help …and instantly, Jesus heard this cry…the cry of the poor…and I was immediately touched by the Risen Lord. I became that "other disciple." My life began to change at that moment and has continued to change even as I write this reflection. What began as a feeling that my life was "falling apart" evolved into a realization that it was actually "falling into place." I began the process of becoming the person that God created me to be. The past thirty years have been an exciting journey, one filled with peace and gratitude and a joyful willingness to pass on to others what was freely given to me.
Today is the day of Easter joy. Yet, even as we celebrate, we are painfully aware that for many people it is still Good Friday. Every day it seems there is something to remind us of the poverty, injustice, and violence of our world.
My true faith journey began in a cemetery. Not in a stable. Not at the river Jordan. Not in an upper room. The first resurrection appearances happened in a cemetery garden. Cemeteries are holy ground. Easter places. And Easter tells us that Jesus’ tomb is empty and so is his cross. He is not there. He has gone ahead of us. He is among us…HAPPY EASTER !!!
Deacon Brian Clements is a retired member of the retreat team at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, California