Homily: Easter Sunday A. Do you know the War is over?

Christ is risen! He’s truly risen! There you have the Easter greeting. However, after exchanging this beautiful expression of faith, what remains in our heart? How does that change my life and my surrounding? On this Easter Sunday, what’s the sentiment that reigns in my heart: joy and triumph or is it a feeling of sadness and defeat?

Can I rejoice in Easter Sunday victory like these children?

Bible Reading
Acts 10: 34, 37-43
Psalm 118: 1-2; 16-17; 22-23
Colossians 3:1-4
John 20:1-9

Easter Sunday like Mary of Magdala?

Mary goes to the tomb early in the morning when it’s still dark. This may not just be atmospheric darkness. There’s also the darkness of the heart. Mary is mourning the loss of Jesus. And when she finds the stone rolled away from the tomb she imagines the worst, she is in complete turmoil. Mary’s attachment to Jesus is indubitable, it defies even death. The only thing is that she remains attached to the dead Jesus –stuck in the Good Friday event. And because of that she is sad and so she can’t rejoice in the brightness and joy of Easter Sunday. She keeps a mournful face when it should be beaming with joy of life. Jesus is risen but she doesn’t know.

Go beyond empty tomb

Let’s not stop just at the stone rolled away or the idea that the tomb is empty, otherwise, we risk remaining sad, thinking the body has been stolen. We need to contemplate this empty tomb. It’s not for nothing that John cares to give us some details: Peter and other disciple see “…the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself.” These are the cloths that are supposed to envelope the body of Jesus till its decomposition. But the body isn’t in there. Jesus can’t be held prisoner in them, he will not see corruption. These linens are useful to the dead and useless to someone alive. That’s why they lie are there uselessly –serving no purpose.

No proof for the resurrection

We, Christians, believe in the resurrection. But we can’t prove it. And it has never been our preoccupation. There is no witness of the resurrection. No one was there, and no one will tell us what happened. But we have the witnesses of the risen One, those who met the risen Christ. And their lives, since that encounter, had never been the same. They experienced their proper resurrection from their different forms of death such as fear and doubt. That’s why the resurrection we celebrate isn’t just after death but also of our everyday life.

For that matter, a believer in the risen Christ is a warrior. He fights because he believes in victory. Easter is a feast for tireless fighters who believe in victory of life even though the world gives the impression of the victory of death; a believer in the resurrection believes in love even in the world where it’s hatred that seems to be evident. Yes, Easter is a feast for those who despite the blows they may have received from the experiences of life yet they fight-on in hope for a better tomorrow –they never surrender. They refuse to remain prisoner of the shroud. They believe in life and love.

Do you know the war is over?

However, to be able to live in this hope we need to be aware of this victory. We need to be aware that the darkness that enveloped the world on Good Friday is transformed into bright light.  This reminds me of the story of war. I know, it’s strange indeed to speak of war on Easter morning. Anyhow, here it is!

I come from Zambia, formerly northern Rhodesia, which was occupied by the British.  In the north is Tanzania which was part of German East Africa, occupied by Germans. So, during 2nd World War the British and the Germans were at war in these territories. One day, the Germans capture a British officer. But the officer wonders why he’s captured at all as prisoner of war. As for the Germans, knowing they are in full war, it’s a stupid question to ask. But then the officer advises the Germans to get informed by their superiors in Germany. They were surprised to learn that the time they were fighting savagely, including the time they captured the British officer, as war prisoner; in fact, it was already weeks after the war had ended. Without knowing, they had kept fighting when they were supposed to put guns down.  

What’s my feeling this Easter Sunday?

What’s going on in me this Easter Sunday?  Do I continue walking in darkness, sad, like Mary of Magdala, not knowing it’s the Day of the Lord, a day of joy? Do I still walk in fear of defeat, not knowing the war is over and victory is guaranteed?

Lord, open my eyes so that I may see and live in the joy of the new hope that your resurrection brings into my life and into the world.

Happy Easter!

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See also:

 Holy Saturday. Can You Sing a New Song Now?

Holy Thursday A. New Commandment of Love

Palm Sunday, Year A, The Passion of the Lord

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