The Lord is risen! Alleluia!
I think there are many things that make this Easter different from others. First, how cold it has been. We have had ice and snow. The winds have been so intense. This is a weekend where we plan to get together with family and friends. But now we must plan to have warm coats. It takes longer to get the children ready. It takes more time to get to where we want to go. Our memories of Easter are those of green grass, warm sunshine, and listening to the birds sing. We want to wear colorful clothing but find we still our wearing black and dark coats.
Still, the Lord is Risen and we sing alleluia to lift up our spirits. Perhaps the first disciples felt as miserable and gloomy as our weather is today. They could not see the sun. Everything seemed dark and cold. They felt no happiness, no joy. Then a ray of light broke into their thoughts. The women had come back from the tomb proclaiming Jesus was not there. The tomb is empty. And two men in dazzling white proclaimed,
Why do seek the living among the dead. He is not here. He has arisen!
Peter looked first into the tomb. Remember the disciples always having the argument about who is the greater among them. Apparently, it has been settled. Peter may not be the greater, but he is their leader. So, Peter looks first into the tomb and is amazed. Then the beloved disciple looks within and believes. This may seem obvious, but we often forget.
In our faith, we do have leaders. We have many leaders of different qualities. There are those who are spiritual leaders and understand and teach the faith. There are those who believe but lead us and direct us to the faith. Peter will baptize a Roman soldier’s family and teach us not to call unclean what God has given for food. The beloved disciple will teach us to love and how to form relationships in union with God. I wonder, do we fall into the sin of using faith as a wall to keep others out when we really need to be bringing people into the faith?
What happens next is remarkable. The disciples begin to remember facts and teachings about Jesus. This prepares them to move past the Jesus that has died and develop that loving relationship with the Risen Christ. Alleluia!
It is important to study the Bible as it prepares us to love the Risen Lord. But we are not to stop there. Now we move forward in a new life. A life based on the commandments and Beatitudes and striving toward a virtuous life.
We might think the empty tomb is not enough. That we want more clarity, more time to understand the facts. That is why we have faith. God has given us everything we need. If we demand more information we will never be satisfied. We will not be able to accept God based on what we think God is or should be. God already is. I ask that you move on from the empty tomb and focus on a loving relationship with the Lord.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen