EASTER - B
THE LORD IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!
The Resurrection is the seal of God the Father as He accepted the ultimate sacrifice of His Beloved Son on the cross and transformed that sacrifice into New Life. He did it by raising His Son from the dead. Easter is the reward of the Father to the unwavering obedience of His Son; it is also the gift of God to all his children so that henceforth we are called an Alleluia People living the Resurrection life!
Through sensus fidelium (sense of faith), we believe that our Blessed Lord first appeared to His Blessed Mother after the resurrection although the Scriptures is silent on this. Because the Resurrection is an historical fact, the evangelists needed people to testify to the event who were not blood-related to Jesus.
The certainty of the resurrection is not totally based on the empty tomb which was only a sign, but rather to the apparitions of the Risen Christ. These resurrection appearances enkindled in the apostles and the believers the belief in the Risen Christ. One of the earliest traditions is the appearance to Mary Magdalene who visited the tomb early in the morning of Sunday not to greet a Risen Christ but to anoint the dead corpse of Jesus. When she saw the stone had been moved away from the tomb she went to Peter and John to report the incident; they went in to investigate the empty tomb but only found the linens inside the tomb. Until that moment they did not yet understand the Scriptures.
During the encounter between the Risen Christ and Magdalene, she did not recognize Him because she was stricken with grief. Her eyes could not see clearly because they were flooded with tears. It was only when Christ called her by her name that she was able to recognize Him. Hearing her name called opened for Magdalene such familiarity and intimacy with the voice of Her Master. That voice brought her back to the healing experience given her by her Master. Like Magdalene, we think that God is absent in our lives when we are in deep pain most especially in the loss of a member of our family, a friend or a beloved. Our tears may help us to ritualize our grief but sometimes over-grieving also hinders us to recognize the presence of God hence we fail to meet Him in the encounter. When we return to the those moments of being touched by God in the past, then we are able to move forward away from the tombs of our grief towards the light of the new day.
In this beautiful encounter, Christ announced a new relationship with His disciples when He called them “my brothers”. The resurrection made us truly the children of God most especially when Christ says “I am going to my Father and your Father…”
After the encounter, Magdalene went to announce to the disciples “I have seen the Lord.” She became the first evangelizer of the resurrection.
Two thousand years after the resurrection, we celebrate it not just as a commemoration of an historical event but rather we are re-living it as a memorial. We may not be privileged to have actually encountered the Risen Christ like the early disciples but we believe that we form a “continuum of the resurrection story”. That is why even in the present time, we are the new witnesses of the resurrection through our faith in the Risen Christ. Like the early disciples, we also gather as a community of believers most especially every Sunday because each Sunday is called a “mini-Easter.” Like Magdalene, we are the new evangelizers of the resurrection!