Clergy Notes — Easter Day, March 31, 2024

Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

In St. Mark’s account of the resurrection (Mk 16:1-8) Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, companions of Jesus, come to the tomb early in the morning of the first day of the week, with spices to anoint his body ready for its final burial. They are shocked to find the stone rolled back, and a young man inside the tomb. ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ They run away, amazed and terrified, and say ‘nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.’

So what of us this Easter Day? Like Mary Magdalene, Mary and Salome, we have witnessed the traumatic events of this Holy Week, sharing in Jesus’ Last Supper, letting him wash our feet, standing by at his betrayal, watching at the foot of the Cross and as he was laid in the tomb. How do we feel as we discover the empty tomb today?

We have the benefit of hindsight, of course, and 2000 years of Christian tradition, so there may be a danger that complacency, over-familiarity, tempers our excitement and sense of wonder in God’s truly awesome action in the Resurrection of Jesus, then and now.

Take some time to ponder on Mark’s account. Imagine yourself with the women coming to the tomb. Share their fear and their amazement. The young man told them to tell Peter and the disciples Jesus was going ahead to Galilee, they would see him there. As we come to the empty tomb today, what has the young man to say to you and to me? Jesus is always going forward, going ahead, inviting us to follow. As he brought God’s light and God’s love into dark places of the world then, so now he calls us both to be and to recognise that light and that love in our still broken and divided world of 2024.

Thankfully, the women, Peter, and the disciples overcame their fear and reluctance to tell the good news. Let us then not be silent, but joyfully proclaim in word and deed the Easter faith:

Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

With every blessing in this joyful Eastertide,
Fr Kevin

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, March 31, 2024.