Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! The stone is rolled away. The tomb where Christ once laid is empty. Death did not hold Him. He conquered death and restored life. Jesus, Our Redeemer, brings us life, love, and hope won for us all through His passion, death, and resurrection.
This year, in these unprecedented times, our celebration of the Holy Triduum and Easter has certainly been far different than usual. The Coronavirus Pandemic and its effects have forced us all to adapt, sacrifice, and persevere in all things. We can all agree we’ve never experienced anything like this in our lifetimes. However, the same truths of our faith in the Paschal Mystery that we joyfully celebrate each year reign true today in the time of pandemic as “causes for joy.”
What I find special (and encouraging!) is how all the Easter Sunday Gospels begin with disciples seeking. In each of the Gospel accounts of the empty tomb, the women, Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” or, Mary, the mother of James and John, go to the empty tomb. “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” (John 20:1).
What are they seeking? Perhaps the Resurrected Christ, but they didn’t all understand how the Scriptures would be fulfilled yet. Maybe they were seeking to mourn the Lord’s death more or to pray for Him. Maybe they were hoping to find some comfort in praying where His body laid at rest. No matter what, they were seeking. They didn’t immediately encounter the Lord either, they had to let the story continue to unfold and find Him. When they found Him, inexpressible joy was certainly the reaction!
Easter Joy, an encounter with our Risen Lord doesn’t just come to us. We must seek it. All of us approximately 2,000 years later are truly blessed to know how the story unfolds. We can seek to meet the Risen Lord knowing that He comes to us and calls us to Himself. Easter Joy, the joy of the Risen Lord is indeed ours when we seek Him!
How can we seek the Lord in such difficult times? In such depressing, scary, difficult times?
In faith, in hope, and in charity!
Seek Him! Believe in the power of God to transform our mourning into laughter and our fear into confidence. Live the truths and commandments of our faith. Long for the coming of God’s Kingdom, fulfillment only in Jesus Christ, and eternal life with Him. Long for the glory of God to be revealed through these difficult times.
Love, serve, and be charitable! Be kind, patient, and forgiving. Reach out to those who are lonely whether they be family, friends, or strangers. Share what you have with those in need. Recognize that praying for and supporting others are the greatest gifts of all through these times!
In these “uncharted lands,” we can hold true to our faith and the glory of the Resurrection. We can seek Jesus in opportunities that we never have before. We can find Easter Joy – the joy that “dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners” (Exsultet: The Proclamation of Easter).
Once Mary saw, what did she do? “She ran and went” (John 20:2). Once you’ve found a glimmer of the Easter Joy, like Mary, bring it to others.