Today we celebrate Easter Sunday and the Resurrection of our Lord. Easter is the celebration of human redemption, a glorious day of thanksgiving and great joy.
The Resurrection of Jesus over 2000 years ago is the very cornerstone of Christianity. Its significance cannot be overstated!
The Apostles were witness to this time, and thereafter proclaimed that Christ was truly alive, which was central to their ministry.
As we have heard in the account of the Passion of Jesus Christ - his trial, suffering, and death - Jesus submitted to the will of his Father and chose to die on the cross for us. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit, that he rose from the dead, bringing us to new life.
During the first Easter, so long ago, the apostles likely experienced fear, anxiety, and grief; perhaps not unlike what we are experiencing today during isolation and social distancing. They were locked in a house, afraid of what was going to happen next. Their Messiah was gone, yet a glimmer of hope came to them in a message from the women, who had come from the tomb. Even though many of the apostles didn’t believe the women, Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself. He found the tomb empty with nothing but the linen clothes of Jesus inside.
On this day when we celebrate the resurrection, we find hope in Christ and all of his promises; we find hope through the women who were brave enough to anoint Jesus; we find hope in Peter, who ran to the tomb only to find it empty. They took the first steps of faith in Christ, and like us, they had hope that the sun would rise in the morning.
We, too, can be comfortable in our hope that through Christ we will rise from death to new life - because he so loved us. Today we say together, "Jesus Christ Lives!"
These words "Jesus Christ Lives" are the truth which fills our faith with meaning. Jesus, who died on the cross, has risen. He has triumphed over death; he has overcome sorrow, anguish and the power of darkness. In him we find everything that we need. That’s all we need to remember.
Amid the fear and anxiety of the pandemic, we perhaps come close to the disciples' experience of the first Easter. Like the disciples, let us also draw hope from the resurrection, knowing that death does not have the final say and this pandemic will not be the end.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus this Easter. He is our blessed hope, our redemption, our victory in battle; He will bring us through to a successful conclusion. He, alone, brings hope and victory.
May God Bless you all on this holiest of days. Happy Easter. Fr. Gerard Plant