Easter Is About Us Too.

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

March 31, 2024 – Easter Sunday, John 20:1-9

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Officially, the Catholic Church lists Easter as the most important day of the year. Personally, I was inclined to give Christmas that designation. Now I give them both a #1 rating. They are the meaningful celebration of our faith that recalls the beginning and the end of the life of the human Jesus. Yes, Easter is his final culminating moment.


Therefore, his death was not his last day. Easter was! Which means that his last day was also his first day of all the rest. I know that this idea is a challenge to think about and affirm. Our society can be overly materialistic in this regard. And further worth noting is that Easter is not just about him, but also about us. Easter is called in Scripture the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

St. Paul puts it, Jesus now lives in glory. And we are invited to join him there. His risen self is now present in our future too. This day of Easter begins the first day of the New Creation. And it has been created not just for the human Jesus, but also for you and me. As each day passes, we move one day closer to our own risen lives after our last breath.  


In today’s gospel we recall the person who first experienced this greatest mystery of our faith. It was his close friend, Mary Magdeline. Think of her as the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus. After her brief visit to the empty tomb, she immediately went to tell the close followers and friends of Jesus. While there is no mention of this in the New Testament, I imagine her first going to Mary, the mother of Jesus. After all, they are mentioned as being with each other at his death. Why not be the first to learn that his has risen from death?


And would they not also begin thinking and talking about not only Jesus, but also themselves? What is ahead for them? Is death in God’s plan an ending or a new beginning? They could think about these matters in a new way of understanding of the death of Jesus. And their own deaths. Briefly, it was now possible to imagine continued life with Jesus, with God and can we add, with one another?


Thus the message of Easter is not so much about springtime, but about human life as rooted in God and God’s promise that we will live well beyond our lives here in our fragile planet. Scientists tell us that life here will end for all some day as the Sun expands. But that’s not the end for us. Like Jesus, we will “rise from the dead” and be with God and each other forever.

David M. Thomas, PhD  

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