Easter Sunday - Shattering Tombs

Easter is about rebirth. It is about re-creation. It is about new life. It is about the fact that Jesus now invites us to open our hearts to his new Easter power. Easter is about shattering tombs. Jesus wants to give us the power to rise from tombs of darkness after our hope has been washed to pieces. He wants to give us the power to rise from the tomb of discouragement after our love has been rejected. He wants to give us the power to rise from tombs of doubt after our faith has been shaken. This is the good news of Easter.

emptytomb1It is the good news that Jesus shattered His own tomb and rose to the fullness of life - and that He wants to help us rise from our tombs as well. It is the good news that no tomb - no tomb - can hold us anymore, not the tomb of despair, not the tomb of discouragement, not the tomb of doubt, not even the tomb of death.

The central theme of salvation history is survival first of God's people, Israel, led from slavery to freedom - in the Exodus and Passover; and then of Jesus, the God man and Messiah, overcoming sin and death through His resurrection. The Liturgies of Easter, more than any others during the year, speak to us of survival - of new life.

We are constantly reminded that the mystery of Easter speaks to us of a very different kind of life... one that speaks not of failure, but of completion.... not of ending, but of a new beginning. We are reminded through our Paschal celebration of the tools that God gives us for the work of this new life.... fire, water, and an empty tomb. Look at the Sanctuary in your parish church... look at the symbols, look at what have we decorated and highlighted: The flame of the Easter Candle, the water of the Baptismal font, and the table where the Risen Lord invites us to break bread with Him and rediscover the meaning of His death and resurrection.

The message of Easter is that we are not dead. We are not faithless, hopeless, or loveless. We will not be entombed in despair. We accept the challenge of this new life that we have been given through Christ. We believe that we are made new over and over again by the fire of God's love, by the life that surges in us from the waters of Baptism, and by the Bread and the Cup of the Eucharistic Table, where we are nourished in the life and power of the Risen Lord.

The Empty Tomb, and not the Cross, is the end, or rather the beginning of the Story of New Life. We come together in worship because we accept the responsibility for overcoming evil, and for conquering death in the ways it has invaded our world. We will not stand by and watch God's handiwork be destroyed or spoiled. We will be even stronger signs of faith, hope and love for our families, for our neighbors and friends, for our co workers.

Resurrection faith is a marvelous gift, if we are open to receive it. It can change our lives and lead us to become the forgiving, peace filled people that we are all meant to be.

The shattering of the Tomb should make it impossible for us to continue being comfortable and complacent. Jesus invites us to share his new life - here and now. He offers us the strength to crush old habits of thinking and acting, and He gives us the vision to re-examine all that we do and are in the light of that Easter Dawn. It is this brilliant and undiminished light of Resurrection Faith that the Risen Lord calls us to live.

No one took Him from the tomb - and we do know where He is. Proof of the Risen Christ lies within us. We are the proof that Christ is alive and lives with us still. We are His witnesses to all the nations.