Easter Sunday

It was […] the first day of the week and still dark

Let’s try to imagine Mary Magdalene’s feelings. For the last couple of days her life fell apart, when Jesus was arrested, killed and buried. The arrest was sudden, the sentence was surprising, and the death was horrible, the burial was improper… Apparently everything that might have gone wrong went wrong. It seemed nothing worse could happen. But Mary Magdalene saw the open and empty tomb and that was another blow. Her fate appeared to get worse and worse. Similar stories happen all over the world – a chain of seemingly unbearable disasters.

What did Mary do? She went to a community to share her fear and anxieties, looking for help and understanding. Two members of the community, Peter and John, didn’t offer simplistic answers to her question; they didn’t offer any cheap slogans or patting on the shoulder. They became involved in her experience when they went to the tomb.

John was the first of the two to reach the place, but he stopped at the entrance. The tomb was a cave in the rock. The closing stone had been removed and the tomb was open. Faint light from the sunrise exposed the interior enough to let John notice burial clothes put aside. But the light was too dim to fully recognise the situation. We could say that John stopped at the brink of understanding and believing. He was still just an observer, but not a believer. It’s a situation familiar to many Christians: we can recognise symbols, we can take part in some religious rituals – but it’s still something outside our full and deep understanding.

At last Peter approached the tomb, but he didn’t stop – he went right into it. In some way he became fully immersed in the tomb, in the reality of death. John followed him. And when he did, he gained full understanding. ‘Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead’. They had had knowledge, but they hadn’t had the experience of faith.

It was […] the first day of the week and still dark

New reality, more glorious than before, was born in pain, affected by cruelty and violence. Today’s feast reminds us, that resurrection comes after pain and death. In our everyday lives we, believers, can find additional strength and certainty of faith with the thought that every obstacle, suffering, pain and disaster can lead us to something better and greater. Having faith will not prevent us from having problems. It will prevent us from despair and help us to overcome problems.