Easter Sunday – Year C

Michael P. Sullivan, O.S.A.
Saint Thomas Monastery
Villanova, Pennsylvania

Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Ps 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Col 3: 1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8
John 20: 1-9


The Lord is risen from the tomb. If that were not so our faith would be in vain. All creation cries out and brings forth new life. The dark night is over and the mantle of death has not prevailed. Jesus has conquered death and darkness and now bids us to rejoice and follow the Way he sets before us. To truly be a follower of Jesus means that while we have to embrace the Cross in life it will ultimately lead to Resurrection.

All that sounds good, true and comforting, yet when we are in the midst of the Cross in our life it is often difficult or almost impossible to rejoice in the Cross. Jesus said that he came that we might have life, life unto abundance. What word I wonder comes to mind when you think of life. If you had to use a word to describe life, what would it be? For myself, the word that comes to mind is “mystery.” Yes, life is a mystery. Good, bad or indifferent, did you ever imagine that your life would have turned out as it has? The days when we reveled in the joyful or glorious mysteries were often taken for granted. There were days surely when you questioned if you would make it through another day. Yes, the Mystery of Suffering. All during Lent we are reminded of the need to repent and embrace the Cross in our life. Lent is over and now we are to sing out with full voice that Jesus has conquered sin and death. We are to embrace the Resurrected Christ.

Have you ever knelt before the crucifix and prayed to the Lord to embrace you in a loving and healing embrace? I have. “Take me in your embrace, Lord,” I cry out. Then I cry out, “No, Jesus, do not hug me on the Cross, but with your Resurrected body.” It is as if the Lord speaks my name and tells me that if I will not let Him love me on the Cross I can have no part in Resurrection. And I cry out for the Lord to embrace me and be with me.

The promise of the glorious mystery of new life is ours also. Jesus said “yes” to the Cross and fulfilled the Father’s plan for Him. We too can fulfill our Creator’s plan for us by saying “yes” to the mystery of life. Rejoice, for we too will experience resurrection and new life in and through the Cross. Easter is a shout out by all creation that we must die to self so as to be born anew in imitation of Christ.