God Rises from Our Tomb of Ignorance

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Mass-Blog-for-Easter-Sunday-2022.mp3)

Jesus told his disciples at least THREE times while he was with them of his impending execution—and why it MUST happen. NONE of those times did they understand what he was saying. These were plain-spoken guys who weren’t always good at interpreting their master’s parables. So when he repeatedly described his mission and its inevitable conclusion, they must have thought, “There he goes again with another of his weird stories!”

Last week’s Palm Sunday liturgy showed us how dealing with Jesus’s passion affected these guys. It exhausted them. It wasn’t until what Jesus told them must happen, HAPPENED, that the light bulb went off in their heads. That light had to come from the darkness of their Master’s empty tomb, as we see in the gospel reading for this Easter Sunday (Jn 20:1-9):

When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

From that point on, Christ’s followers understood what just happened all too well. Their challenge was lighting up the empty skulls of future generations of disciples—including us. But we are as earthbound as the pre-resurrection disciples. Our world’s glaring material “realities” blind us to the illuminating effects of Christ’s spiritual reality—and the fact that it is ours too. In Sunday’s second reading (Col 3:1-4), Paul tries sharing with us unseeing moderns the clarifying vision he gained after being blinded by it on the road to Damascus: 

Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

While we’re in hiding, maybe we should make some noise so fellow secluded souls can realize they’re not alone in the earthen tomb from which we’re all destined to rise. Through the Gospels, God asks, “Are you ready?” God’s name is the answer: I AM.

–Tom Andel

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