Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Vigil of Easter

Matthew 28:1-10

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Adrienne Kapela

Published: April 15, 2017


To believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, must we believe in the empty tomb? The Resurrection is a historical reality, which lies in the witness of the apostles who had lived with Jesus and who proclaimed having seen him alive after his death.

The Resurrection of Jesus is not a piece of information like the news stories which come from the press.  No one knows the hour of the resurrection; there were no witnesses and it remains God’s secret.  Nevertheless, it is an affirmation of faith: Jesus is alive forever.  No one witnessed the resurrection of Christ as it happened.  In the Gospel of St. Matthew, we read that there was an earthquake in the morning.  The Angel of the Lord descended from the sky, rolled away the stone and sat on it.  This stone which the angel rolled away is the visible sign of the victory of God over death. 

The discovery of the empty tomb is not in itself the proof of the Resurrection.  It is directly related and is in its own way, a witness.  It places the holy women as first witnesses to a brutal and actual reality. The angel invites these women to give witness to the disciples: Jesus sends them to “his brothers.”  Forgetting their abandonment and denial, he continues to call them “his brothers.”

“He is not here he is risen from the dead.”  This is the central belief of our faith. As the angel expresses it, we learn that this belief of faith has its origin in the revelation of God in the hearts of believers. The Resurrection of Christ is also our resurrection; he is the first-born from the dead. And even though he died for us, he also rose for us.  Through this, our weaknesses and our lack of openness are overturned like the stone from the tomb.  We are, then, called to a new and eternal existence.  

Jesus invites his brothers to go to Galilee where he will meet them; it was there where they would meet him for the first time and they would resume following him. They would now receive new strength to accomplish what Jesus asked of them. 

Jesus continues to ask of each one of us to return and to meet with him there where we met him for the first time, in our daily life, our own Galilee where we renew our faith in Jesus.  Filled with new strength, we can proclaim: Alleluia, he is alive! He is risen from the dead!

 

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