(Click here for readings)
Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome came to the tomb. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us…?”
How does it go? “What goes up…must come down.” And so it is…but not today. Not today.
Today, the laws of physics, of biology, of earth science, of logic: courtesy. That’s right; they bow their heads and bend their knees to the Supreme Law Giver and to the Supreme Law of Unconditional Love. And they are not ashamed to do so. They are not embarrassed one bit. For their laws were all written by God; and God is Love.
What is greater than knowledge? Love. What is superior to justice? Love. What outranks and outflanks evil? Love. What drives enemies insane? “See how they love one another.”
Today, we recall the very first time in the history of the world that love conquered death. Death does not have the last word or the last laugh; neither does gravity. When it comes to gravity, I can quickly suspend it with my simple hand. When it comes to poverty, I can quickly get rid of it with my generosity. When it comes to war, I can immediately annihilate it by tying everybody’s hands together in prayer. I can stretch out my arms and catch someone from hitting rock bottom as easily as I can stop an object from falling to the ground. I can suspend the law of "survival of the fittest" by taking care of the abandoned, the elderly and the homeless. I can deny evil a breeding ground with my love and sacrifice. I can suspend most laws with my law; like a Governor or a doctor suspends a death sentence. I can do this and so much more. Take for example the Holy Father, Pope Benedict. Just recently he traveled to Mexico. During his brief stay there not a single drug cartel related murder took place. And this is a country that experiences on average fifty-seven murders a day (almost 20,000 murders last year alone)! Did he stop the killing spree with the laws of physics? No. He suspended the killings with the Law of Love; with Christ's Law. And it worked. It's too bad he had to leave.
Christ destroyed death – not sentimentally, or emotionally or psychologically or philosophically. Christ literally- really and physically - destroyed death. He destroyed it permanently. This was not some sort of philosophical or psychological victory. It wasn’t even a scientific victory. It was His victory. And His victory is our victory! Love is more powerful than death! It was love that synergized life. It was love that gave Adam his atoms. Christ’s resurrection was a once in a timeless event; like the Big Bang; it only needed to happen once. And it took…and the rest is history.
How did God do it? How did Christ destroy death? By himself. The God of love can conquer all things, including death.
“Who will roll back the stone for us?” The holy ladies that appeared at Christ’s tomb, early in the morning, were worried. They were worried that they could not roll back the stone. The Apostles in the upper room were worried that the guards searching for them would open up the doors. Both were worried for no reason.
Do I worry that the sky will fall? Do I fear that the night will last forever? Do I get worried sick about getting sick? Worries will consume my every step if I do not have faith in the God of love. The best way to get rid of all fears is to do what the Lord commands us to do. “Go and tell the others…He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.”
I will see the Lord not only in Galilee but in every city, in every person, in every situation, in every friend and family, in everything I do if whatever I do, I do it for him! If I go where I should never go; do what I should never do; and be who I should never be; then I will not see him or find him.
The miracle of the resurrection is that it is so obvious: no bones, no body and an empty tomb. The miracle of a dead man coming back to life is witnessed by His Apostles. They touched him, ate with him and spoke with him. But when we die, we will not be able to do this. We will not be able to roam the earth and spook our neighbors. The Apostles witnessed the risen Lord physically on earth. But it was never meant to be like that for us. He came back for only one reason: to strengthen his brethren.
And he did. He rolled back the stone from a world that would love to hide him. He went through the Walls in the Upper Room that held his friends hostage. The tomb, like the upper room, was locked. The Lord and his Apostles were locked in and locked out. Only the Lord could break through both.
We don’t need to be God; we just need to trust in Him as we are walking to see Him; as we are waiting to see him; as we are living to see him.