The beauty of the church today cannot be adequately expressed by words however much we offer the beauty of flowers, the music and the joy that is in our hearts. All speak of the glory of God. As we engage with the resurrection on this Easter Sunday we remain perhaps overcome, bewildered and not quite sure of what it all means. How do I get my mind around it and what does it really mean to me in my life that he has risen from the dead. Does it and shouldn’t make any difference?
This year I suspect many of us have been following Holy week and the Easter Triduum more closely. Perhaps the pandemic continues to send its shockwaves, some are still desirous of coming back to church but Are not quite sure and then there are others who are asking now ever more serious questions about the church, Christ and how I can become part.
Mary Magdalene is often described as the first witness to the resurrection. Her experience of the tomb and the sense of loss and pain of losing him and then her initial failure to recognise him all speak of an intensity of love, devotion and adoration. Sadly she has often been misrepresented and used for many pet theories. However what is forgotten about her is that the past in itself is not important but rather how the past teaches us to reach out to Christ. That experience of Mary Magdalene inspires us to long for him, to want to be with him and to receive his teaching and mercy. Initially she feels that the body of Christ has been stolen and taken away and her heart will continue to break until she finds Him. What is it that compels and drives her forward? Very simply it is because she has received Christ’s healing, forgiveness and merciful touch. Previously up to that moment she would have almost certainly hated herself, allowed the world and the hypocrisy of society to explain her to herself having been captivated by her “wicked history“. She wouldn’t have known who she was, a not unfamiliar story for many today!
When she does meet him as we famously know she will not let him go. Partly this is because she does not understand that the risen Christ has to live within us by faith. Yes the risen Christ is real, actual and present but he wants to live within our hearts and souls. Our Easter celebration is about asking for that to happen. We have already been prepared for this to happen by our baptismal consecration which we renew tonight. This consecration means that we have had prepared for us a fitting dwelling place for Christ but that dwelling place needs to be continually cleansed , Purified and forgiven of its sins. Above all this journey of Easter needs our faith, belief and desire for him.
Once again after the long days of holy Thursday, Good Friday and holy Saturday Christ is present in the tabernacle. In these days of resurrection we do not hear much of our Blessed Lady but she is certainly the one Who can help us to grow in faith and love of the Blessed sacrament.
Let us ask that at this Easter we may believe again, to cleave to and ask for the grace to know that he is here. When we approach Eucharistic adoration, the mass and the tabernacle with due reverence and are in a state of grace we know that we are before the risen Christ and he offers to come and live within us
Mary Magdalene asked where he is. He is both here in my heart and there in the tabernacle. That is the joy of Easter, its wonderment and beauty. Let us rejoice and in so much as we can - sing alleluia.
May I take this opportunity of wishing everyone a very happy and holy Easter and particularly if you are separated from family and friends at this time to know that through the joy of Easter and the Blessed sacrament we are joined.
Christ is risen he is risen indeed.