Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Roland Chidiebere, CMF

EASTER SUNDAY: “Speak, Mary, declaring what you saw: ‘the tomb of Christ’

Certainly, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Mary scarcely slept the previous night! Obviously, she was preoccupied with the plan of attending to her “Beloved,” to give his body the traditional respect. Genuine love moves one to take all sorts of risk! It was not bright enough, day was just dawning, yet, she did not bother about being attacked by robbers or any other mischievous element; she knew that the tomb was guarded by soldiers, yet she was not deterred! She knew that the entrance to the tomb was blocked with a big stone, notwithstanding, she went on!! True love urges us on, fortifies us, makes us dare to embark on what ordinarily seems scary. What risks do you take for the sake of your faith-expression? What does your love for Jesus Christ move you to do? Engrossed in her desire to please her beloved even as he was dead, she reaches the place of burial!

Today’s Sequence invites her to share her experiences saying, “Speak, Mary, declaring what you saw: ‘the tomb of Christ, who is living, the glory of Jesus’ resurrection...’” From concern to worry! This time the body is gone! She beholds the empty tomb. One thing is certain, ‘empty tomb does not talk’ – the only language she could hear therein was silence! How do you normally manage moments of crisis and confusion in life? What helps you to uphold oneself? What kind of self-talk do you indulge in? Certainly, getting paralyzed emotionally does not bring any solution.

Mary wisely sought out those who could be relevant in facing the situation – the apostles! Indeed, Jesus’ resurrection did not immediately create excitement for his closest followers. Yet the handling of the situation reveals a lot! The Gospel writer wants us to quickly see beyond the empty tomb! He tells us that the beloved upon seeing, believed! Those who see with their own eyes have only one assignment: they bear witness; they go forth and proclaim what they saw. Pulled by your love for Jesus, you prepared through the Lenten observances, and now you experience the risen Lord; what is your story? Your colleague or neighbour can benefit from your sharing. Experience of the risen Lord is never pocketed. Mary went forth to announce, ‘the Lord is risen!’ 

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