written by Teresa Donati
You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy….
Today is the first Friday after Easter. It is one week since the Crucifixion, and in that one short week, astounding contradictions have changed the world.
Jesus had died an agonizing death, taking upon himself mortality in its most brutal form. Yet that same Man rose in glory and power on the Third Day, and we call it Easter, the ultimate Pascal celebration of Jesus’ triumph.
For Mary Magdalene, for the women who came to where Jesus had lain, first there was terror, followed by amazement at the empty Tomb. And then to be told that the lifeless Man they had taken down from the Cross, was alive….
We have heard the story so often, that it is easy to forget their astonishment, their confusion, and fear. Death was seen as so permanent, so irrevocable, the absolute end to life. But now, they were shown that death held no power over their beloved Jesus, and through him, no power over us.
The evidence was before their eyes, and they could hardly believe it at first. That is the clue for us, when we forget the promise, when we seem to lose hope. As the prayer in today’s Year A Lectionary reading says:
Blessed are you,
O God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom we receive the legacy of a living hope,
born again not only from his death
but also from his resurrection.
Teresa Donati is a sociologist, living in New Jersey.