After the emptiness of Holy Saturday comes the blinding light of Easter. As the Gospel accounts attest, the reality of the Resurrection is at first incomprehensible to the disciples. In Mark’s Gospel (16:1-7), read at the Easter Vigil, the three women are “utterly amazed” when they see the stone rolled away and the angel sitting in the tomb, and in John’s account (20:1-9), read this morning, Mary Magdalene runs to tell Peter and the beloved disciple in her disbelief, and the evangelist specifically tells us that “they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”
As Christians living in the light of the Resurrection, we can and do experience the grace of Easter in our own lives. The Gospels indicate, however, that this Easter grace cannot be anticipated, but rather that it breaks in unexpectedly, shattering the darkness that envelops us and forcing us to see everything in a completely new light. This is the grace of conversion after a period of intractable sin, of sudden fruitfulness after months or years of fruitless toil, of overwhelming consolation after seemingly endless aridity—in short, of life coming out of death. Today, it is worth contemplating the sheer gratuity and unexpectedness of the Resurrection, so that when the Lord offers us the grace of the Cross in our lives, we might persevere in the darkness of faith so as to enter once more into the brilliance of Easter.
- William Manaker, S.J.
Prayers for all that you may have a Blessed and Happy Easter Season