Reflection for Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023

From Sr. Margaret Proskovec, ND

Reading 1 ~ Acts 10:34a, 37-43

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good… but was put to death by hanging him on a tree.

Reading 2 ~ 1 Cor. 5: 8

Let us celebrate this feast, not with the old yeast of malice and wickedness
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Gospel ~ Jn. 20:1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning
while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them:
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

A major feature of my life of faith is that of looking for Jesus.  The readings for Easter cast a wonderful spotlight on this sacred endeavor.

In the Gospel, we find Mary of Magdala looking for Jesus, followed later by Peter and John, also looking for Jesus whose crucified body had been laid and sealed in a tomb.

Later in the day, two disciples who had been walking home to Emmaus, encountered the living Jesus in the “disguise” of a companion traveler.  They quickly turned around and ran back to Jerusalem to tell the frightened apostles what they had experienced.

In all these accounts, the Risen Jesus first enters into their day in a form his closest friends do not recognize.  He looks like a gardener.  He looks like a fellow traveler.  When Peter and John reach the tomb they find only  emptiness.  But the story does not end there.  Gradually, they go beyond their grief and fears to see that the Risen Jesus is already right there with them.  Jesus has come into the closed tombs of their fears, grief, and shame to bring healing, forgiveness, and new life to them – as He does for each of us.

In reflecting on these amazing accounts, I wonder about the ways Jesus comes into my life in a “disguise” I do not recognize, or may ignore or even reject.  I pray that my eyes will be opened that I may welcome Jesus into the sealed tomb of my own being.  May I recognize his gentle presence in the beauty and wonder of emerging spring, in the quiet student in my class, in the difficult co-worker or neighbor, in my weaknesses, and in the challenges, joys and difficulties of the day.  May I recognize Jesus in the disguise of bread and wine.  May I continue to look for the Risen Jesus in whatever way He comes into our lives each day.

So, as Paul encouraged the Corinthians, let each of us “celebrate this feast, not with the old yeast of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Mary encounters Jesus at the tomb. [Internet:]