Sunday Readings

Readings for Easter Sunday

Andrea Mardegan comments on Easter Sunday readings 

Andrea Mardegan-March 31, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes

Photo: The Resurrection of the Lord, Piero de la Francesca. ©Wikipedia Commons

At the Easter Vigil we read the resurrection according to Mark. Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James the younger, and Salome, who had followed and served Jesus from Galilee, have seen his cross and his burial. The men have escaped and are dismayed. The women, bearers of life, go where their hearts lead them, to the tomb, with the strength of the love they want to manifest to the end, with the ancient desire of all mankind to fill with affection the already cold body of a loved one, with the aromatic oils bought in advance, who knows when. With the ingenuity of love, which is stronger than death. 

But death had the final word until that day. They had watched Joseph of Arimathea wrap the body of Jesus in a new sheet, lay him in a tomb hewn out of the rock and rolled a stone to cover its entrance. They had memorized everything. 

They went at dawn: they made an appointment, got up at night and, as soon as they could move, they went. Strong for the love of Jesus, and for the friendship between them. They are not stopped by the physical impossibility of moving the stone, the impossibility of humanity to move the granite certainty of death. And so the gesture of their body "looking up" becomes for believers a gesture of faith: if you look up, you will see that the stone of death has been destroyed by this day of resurrection. They enter without fear, indeed, with the desire to caress that beloved body with aromatic oil: they are experts in death, like all mankind. And instead of a mangled corpse, they find a young man, not lying, but seated; not naked, but clothed in glory, and then they become afraid. 

That young voice of heaven on earth encourages them: "Do not be afraid."The crucified one is risen! Look at his tomb, it is empty. It is you who announce it to the disciples and to Peter, who is the leader. It does not matter that he has disowned him, for God does not cast out the traitor, but forgives and rehabilitates him. You, women, who cannot be witnesses, are the ones chosen by God as witnesses of the resurrection of his Son, before the leaders of the Church. Jesus of Nazareth awaits you all in Galilee, where he began this Gospel. Remember all that he has done and said in the light of this morning. In the Gospel of the Vigil we do not read a verse like the following: "They went out and fled from the tomb, for they were overcome with trembling and beside themselves. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were terrified". May our human fear in the face of the mystery of new life in Christ be converted into courage, may silence be transformed into words, and may flight be changed into return and closeness. 

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