From the Last Supper through the horrible journey of the Cross, Jesus suffered and finally passed, his body quietly laid in the tomb. Some friends, Mary Magdala and others, came the first day of the week to anoint him, to grieve, just to be nearby. They had lost all but they couldn’t let go, they had to return to attend him. What they discovered was disturbing. The tomb was empty. Angels, shimmering, stood beside them. Moments later, they were sent back to the apostles with incredible news. Jesus, the Beloved, has risen from the dead! On the way, in fear and great joy, they meet Jesus himself. He speaks to them and sends them on to Galilee, to tell the disciples that they will see him there.
We sometimes feel as if trapped in a never-ending winter. Our world groans its way through pandemics, wildfires, creeping climate change, wars, families torn apart and children seeking shelter. We are discouraged and disheartened with it all. In this haze of winter, the prospect of a bright springtime loses its appeal. Yet look outside: flowers are bursting forth, shades of green popping up from the ground, and birds are building nests. Someone has not informed them how terrible things are. Nature, after all, has a mind of its own. Created by God, nature always finds its own springtime.
There is an empty tomb somewhere in each life, a place of loss and sorrow. It is there that we learn: this is where the Good News begins. What do we find when we roll back that stone? Jesus lives! He never gave up, he refused to stay dead, he lives! He waits to appear on the road ahead, wherever we are going. The never-ending winter is only an illusion. After all, God has a mind of his own. And we are people of the Resurrection!
"What do we find when we roll back that stone? Jesus lives!"
I want to thank each of you for your prayers through this Holy Triduum, and invite you to be most attentive to the appearances of Jesus which we will experience in our Sunday Liturgies throughout the entire Easter season. Allow Jesus to meet you on the way. Look for signs of hope in our springtime ahead: in those who have joined us through the RCIA, in those with Confirmations yet to come, in our upcoming Spring Convocation, and in the preparations for our Eucharistic Revival.
We are on our way to the Upper Room; we are on the road to Pentecost! May Our Lord bring to you and yours, and to all his children, all the graces and blessings of a Happy, Holy Easter!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo