From Our Pastor
Today we celebrate the victory of our Lord over death. Jesus has risen from the dead and has become the source of spiritual life to all who believe in Him. This is why we call out Alleluia. We are dead no more, but alive in the Lord. We Christians have as our happiness the hope of eternal life. Easter is the celebration of hope. Our hope is that we will share in the fullness of the New Life Jesus won for us through His suffering and death. Christ was raised so we can share His New Life. We need to grasp onto our faith with both hands. Only our faith brings sanity and meaning and purpose to our lives. Sickness and death, turmoil, unemployment, and all sorts of other crises enter our lives, but our faith gets us through because despite the suffering we have happiness in hope.
Our Gospel today tells us about the disciples’ discovery of the empty tomb. It concludes by telling us that they did not yet understand that Jesus had risen from the dead. Thus, the details provided are not necessarily meant to offer proof of the Resurrection. The details invite us to reflect upon a most amazing gift, which is faith in Jesus and his Resurrection.
Each of the four Gospels tells us that Jesus’ empty tomb was first discovered by women. This is notable because, in first-century Jewish society, women could not serve as legal witnesses. In the case of John’s Gospel, the only woman attending the tomb is Mary of Magdala. Unlike the Synoptic accounts, John’s Gospel does not describe the appearance of angels at the tomb. Instead, Mary is simply said to have observed that the stone that had sealed the tomb had been moved, and she runs to alert Simon Peter and the beloved disciple. Her statement to them is telling. She assumes that Jesus’ body has been removed, perhaps stolen. She does not consider that Jesus has been raised from the dead.
Simon Peter and the beloved disciple race to the tomb, presumably to verify Mary’s report. The beloved disciple arrives first but does not enter the tomb until after Simon Peter. This detail paints a vivid picture, as does the detail provided about the burial cloths. Some scholars believe that the presence of the burial cloths in the tomb offers evidence to the listener that Jesus’ body had not been stolen (it is understood that grave robbers would have taken the burial cloths together with the body).
No one can take the Risen Savior from us. No one and no situation, no matter how terrible, can take His Presence from us. This is the Gift of Easter Sunday! Our life is hidden with Christ in God. May our spiritual lives have infinite precedence over our physical lives. May the life of the Risen Lord flow through our veins, so that every thought word , and deed of our lives may shout out: Jesus Lives! And may we all be happy in the hope of eternal life. Happy Easter everybody!!! He is risen, He has truly risen.
Peace and all good,
Fr. Oscar Mendez, OFM
Pastor, Mission San Luis Rey Parish
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