Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of the Lord
April 17, 2022 — Year C
Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 / Ps 118 / Col 3:1-4 / Jn 20:1-9
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor
In the old Jewish culture, women were considered to be unreliable in what they said, and therefore, they were not accepted as witnesses in a court or tribunal. So we can suppose that no Jew ever expected a woman to be the first witness of the risen Lord. But Jesus, always on the side of the oppressed, chose Mary Magdalene to preach the good news of His resurrection.
Some would say that the Lord intended a woman to be the first to become aware of His resurrection, so that the news could be spread easily to the people. But the seventh century theologian, Isidore of Seville, observed that just as a woman (Eve) first tasted death, so a woman (Mary Magdalene) first saw life. Just as a woman is responsible for the fall of man, so a woman is the first to witness the dawn of salvation. Beautiful!
But because of the magnitude of the mystery of the resurrection, Christ revealed it in a gradual way. First, the stone at the door of the tomb was seen rolled away. Second, they saw the remaining linen cloths. And third, the women were addressed by two angels, before the resurrected Lord was actually seen by the disciples.
One thing we can be sure of, if Christ had not been resurrected, we would not have heard of the apostles. We learn that when Christ was crucified on the cross, the disciples went into hiding, fearing that they would suffer the same death on the cross. The mystery of the Resurrection and nothing else motivated the apostles to come out again and boldly preach about Christ and the Gospel to all people.
The Resurrection of the Lord is the foundation of our faith. As St. Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith is vain. If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is just made up and you still remain in darkness and sin. But this is the truth – that Christ is risen from the dead and is the first fruits of them that slept.” (1 Cor 15:14, 17, 20)
The resurrection of Christ also guarantees our own resurrection. At Lazarus’s tomb, Christ assured Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall live.” (Jn 11:25-26) At the end of time, Christ will raise us from the dead. Even now, we who believe in Him are already beginning to share real life with the Lord.
So, what is the challenge of the mystery of the Resurrection to us today? The great mystery of the Lord’s Resurrection calls us to live as Easter people. But how can we do this? First, we will live happily, confidently, and full of hope. The Resurrection of Christ should give us strength and encouragement to face all the problems, pain, and suffering of the world. As He said to the women on the way to the tomb, we are now told, “Fear not.” The problems and pain of this life will remain, but we who have faith will also remain confident in God’s help.
Let us always remember that there is Easter after Good Friday. There is life and peace after the storms of life. We believe, with a vision of the life to come after this world.
St. Paul is the first to encourage us, “Since you were raised up with Christ, seek the things in heaven, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Think of the things that are heavenly, not the things that are earthly.” And the things of Heaven are none other than the virtues of the Gospel: love, peace, truth, justice, and fairness. These must be our desire, because they belong to God and will give us true happiness, not material things and not physical feelings.