Jesus of Nazareth has risen: we are ‘Easter people’
Easter Reflection: The Eater Vigil Year B
Do not be troubled, Jesus of Nazareth has risen
Most people are troubled about dying, but the fear of death means that one is scared of living. We don’t want to die and we worry about dying because we don’t really know what will happen after we are gone. To die is to let go. The death of the loved one saddens but it is more painful if you feel that the corpse of the loved one is stolen.
Before the burial of Jesus, Nicodemus came with a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. The body of Jesus was wrapped with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews and they laid Jesus in a nearby new tomb. (John 19:39-42)
Three days later, three of the female disciples of Jesus have appointment with the body of Jesus to perform their ointment that they couldn’t do before the burial. (Cf. Mark16:1-2) The visit to the body of Jesus in the tomb would grant Mary the chance to use her costly perfume made of pure nard that she used to anoint Jesus' feet at Bethany; and doing so Mary would fulfill the will of Jesus: “She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.” (Cf. John 12: 3, 7)
The women were troubled when they noticed that the tomb was open and empty. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; the young man announced to them the resurrection of Jesus: “Do not be troubled, the buried Jesus is not here, He has risen. Look, there is the place they laid him.” This proclamation of the angel clears every assumption of the women that the body of Jesus that was buried could have been stolen by his enemies. (Cf. Mark16:1-7) Here comes the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise “you have pain, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” (John 16:20)
What does the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth mean to me? Through what happened to Jesus of Nazareth in his suffering, death and resurrection, I can also learn about what is happening to me here and now on earth.
In solidarity with every human, Jesus accepts to taste death, but death on a cross. The way He chooses to bring salvation to humanity is a way of Holiness, humility, obedience, hope and patience. The story of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection is to encourage me to live a holy life with a noble dream of self-offering. In doing so, I too, in solidarity with humanity must accept death. There must be a story about everyone’s death. For this reason, the quest about how and when to die, must not trouble. The most important dream of life is to live a life that glorifies God: a saintly, humble, obedient, hopeful and patient life.
Holiness is rewarded by God with resurrection. When the righteous one let go of this world for the sake of the gospel, God glorifies the holy body and grants an eternal and transformed body to the faithful one. Death is no longer what to be scared about but rather ungodliness. The resurrection of Christ is Christ’s victory over death and all sorts of evil. If I abide in Christ I too will have the same victory over evil and death.
If I live a saintly and unselfish life, then I will not be scared of death. I will not be afraid of letting go of all that I have: the glory of this world. Whenever I let go of my pride and security and loved ones and I offer myself as in a sacrifice, I learn to die saintly and resurrection will be my reward
Happy Easter to you
Fr. Simon Assogba, SMA
Easter Synday Reflection
ALLELUIA, THE STONE HAS BEEN ROLLED AWAY
(Ac 10:34A, 37-43: Ps 118; I Cor 5:6B-8; Gospel Mark 16:1-7)
For forty days we prepared ourselves towards the celebration of this event. Today, the Lord is risen, death is conquered so, victory is won. Alleluia!
In the First reading of today, Peter inspired by the Holy Spirit and filled with the Easter courage addressed the ‘world’ on the life and ministry of Jesus. Peter’s message directed to the Gentiles therefore the whole humanity, acknowledges that the whole world needs to hear the Good News and that our God shows no partiality. We are all created by him and he desires that we should all be saved. This is a major shift from the religious mentality of the Jews which thought that Yahweh was for only Jews. Today, the whole world is touched and saved by Jesus, everything renewed because our Lord has repaired the damaged world.
There is one unique feature of Peter’s message which is dear to our faith: the story of Jesus is not complete without his ministry and resurrection. Many people limit Jesus’ story to the cross especially at Easter time. So, Peter pointed out that Jesus lived among men doing good and healing the sick and later died and resurrected. The resurrection marks the beginning of our faith. “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor 15:14), say Paul.
We are ‘Easter people’
Easter is about resurrection and so, we are ‘Easter people; Alleluia is our song’.
On the day of resurrection, freedom has been proclaimed and all life situations have changed. This is the best meaning of the expression: “the stone had been rolled back” in the Gospel of Mark. The resurrection power preached by Peter is at work here. The power of the Almighty has rolled the stone away to give life to all who are under bondage of sin and oppression; those suffering under sickness and misfortunes; those tormented by the evil because of their faith. Freedom is won and victory is ours. From today, know that the stone has been rolled out of your life; rejoice because our saviour is alive. Our saviour is alive and we must experience the resurrection power in our daily lives.
Jesus is inviting us to Galilee to meet him. Now the question is to do what? The answer is : to experience Jesus and his resurrection power. According to Philip Ruge-Jones, “Going back to Galilee means going back to the margins where Jesus ministered and encountering him again feeding the hungry, driving out the demons that torment people, preaching words of hope to the broken-hearted, healing those in distress, and breaking down the barrier walls that separate people. Entering into the power of God’s coming kingdom, we experience the resurrected Jesus meeting and leading us into newness.” Henceforth, we have a new life which is joy. We are happy when we serve others. Therefore, awake from your slumber because a new day has dawned, a great light has appeared. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Fr Dennis Seyon Etti, SMA