“Do not be afraid” (Matt 28:10).
The first Monday morning after any celebration is always the test of its staying power. Even for the first disciples, Easter Sunday passed into Monday morning and the question, “Where do we go from here?”
The women rushing to proclaim that the tomb is empty and that they have seen the Lord encounter resistance and disbelief. An official cover-up is already underway, with the guards paid to say that the body was stolen while they were asleep. The mystery of the risen Christ has entered history and will change everything, but for now the circle of belief expands slowly from the first witnesses. The work of reclaiming humanity from sin and death has just begun, but it will need a growing church to witness it effectively.
Deaths continue in our families and communities, and they bring home questions central to Easter. We look to one another and to our churches for reassurance and support. The world continues with the same news of conflict and suffering, unsolved problems and ordinary struggle as winter recedes and nature once again blooms and the birds return despite the signs of shifting weather patterns and global disruptions. We are Easter people of faith, and we press on.
We who are in time endure life’s unpredictable losses, going forward in faith against the timeless mystery of God at work in our midst, healing a broken world and guiding history toward completeness. We pray: No more tears, no more death. Everyone together again.
The church gives us a season of 50 days to ponder the Easter mystery we proclaim and now celebrate. We live now a hidden life in Christ, and our work is to be more and more like him. Each day will hold its own troubles, but grace flows in every moment, especially on Monday mornings when we need it the most.
Like the first disciples, we are called to overcome our fears and doubts, open our eyes to Jesus as he walks on the road with us. We will find him in the Scriptures and in the breaking of the bread, and we will recognize, touch and eat with him in our faith communities. This is how the resurrection will become real in us and for those who witness our faith in action.
The world will try to go back to business as usual, but this is no longer possible for us. Everything is changed. We are changed by the promise of new life won for us by Jesus. Each day he turns to us and says, “Come, follow me." By his grace we can change the direction of history, the fate of the earth, and the structures and attitudes that resist God’s will for our world today.
Easter is not a single Sunday but way of life, a daily process of transformation that will bring us both human maturity and the assurance of a divine destiny -- life in God. This is the joy of the Gospel. This is the day the Lord as made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it!