Easter Sunday Thoughts from Father Dan Fitzpatrick SJ ’53

If you look carefully at the accounts of the Resurrection in the Scriptures, you’ll notice that there are a lot of questions raised in the course of the narrative. Let’s look at two of those questions this Easter morning.

As they are going to the tomb the women and disciples ask themselves: “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”  An idle question because, when  they got to the tomb the stone had already been rolled back. On this Easter 2020 many are asking once again: “Who will roll back the stone for us?”

Today in our city, country and world we feel “the stone” of this corona virus threatening us. We have to face the fact that the stone is there but we don’t want to let it block the way of  the Risen Lord wants to come more fully into our lives. As we celebrate Easter today, we don’t want to let stone paralyzes us and not allow us to be open to new ways that the Lord wishes to come into our lives. Easter tells us that the Lord wants to come, to show us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Easter tells us that the Lord will take the stone away for us as He did on that first Easter morning. But, we have to be patient to let the Lord take the stone away. Like Jesus’ disciples on that first Easter morning we feel our own weakness in the face of this virus. They came to anoint the body of Jesus. They had no idea what awaited them! It was joy and new life! We pray for those graces today as we celebrate Easter. We do not what awaits us, but we do know that the Risen Lord is with us to bring joy and new life.

            Another question. The angel says to the women and the disciples: ”Why do you look for the living among the dead?”  Again. a question for our own lives this Easter morning. These days we are seeing a lot of death in our world. However, we remind ourselves that Easter tells us we are not to look for the Lord among the dead.  Jesus came to give us life. The Resurrection is the ultimate proof of that. He has risen to bring new life to His disciples and to all who will believe in Him.

“Come to me”, Jesus bids us. He bids us come to Him and recognize Him with the scars of His Passion still on His body. The Lord comes to let us know that He is one with us and that He will bring new life to us, no matter what scars we may have within us. Jesus did not come to take our scars and hurts away. His Passion and Death tells us that He is one with us in our suffering and in our pain. His Resurrection tells us that He wants to bring us new life precisely through and in those scars and hurts. Easter has transformed the way we look at everything. It ushers in a new age. Suffering and death have been transformed into new life. Jesus has overcome the worst that can happen to us. Is this “stone” of the virus acting as a mirror to let us see ourselves in a new light? Our values? Our priorities? Our realization that the world does not revolve around us? With His rising Jesus brings us a new hope, a new sense of what life is all about. And is because we have this hope that we do not look for the living among the dead. Easter gives us the promise of new life and everlasting life. We know where to look for this life. We find it in the Risen Lord. It is because of this that we sing our Alleluia!

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