Chaplin Report May 2020 – He is Truly Risen Alleluia Alleluia

“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?  He is not here, but he has been raised”. (Lk. 24:5-6)

The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the essence, the pillar of our faith.  If Christ had not been raised, our faith would be in vain, Saint Paul says.  We would be the most wretched people.  As a triumph of good over evil, the resurrection of Jesus grants new life of grace beyond death, thanks to God’s love and compassion for us sinners.  Jesus conquered death in Him and promised us the same:

“Whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live” (Jn. 11:25)

What does resurrection means for Jesus to grant ever-lasting life to us mortal beings?  How are we involved in the mystery of Jesus’ resurrection?

Resurrection is not like when we revive someone.  Instead of being a kind of reanimation, it is a mystery of transformation of mortal body into a glorified body in God through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Scriptures can help us “understand” a bit of this mystery.  However, it seems to me that something is missing in the resurrection narratives in the four gospels.  It is written that after His death on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus in John’s gospel took the body of Jesus. They bound it with burial cloths along with spices, according to the Jewish burial customs.  They laid Him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried, they rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.  On the first day of the week, according to the gospel of John, Mary of Magdala went to the tomb early in the morning and saw the stone removed from the tomb.  According to the synoptic gospels, Mary Magdalene and other women not only found the stone rolled away from the tomb but also the angels said to them, Jesus the crucified “has been raised”.  All talk about the resurrection is in the past.  What happened in the present is missing. 

What did happen the-time-between the moment they closed the tomb with the stone and the moment Mary Magdalene found the stone removed from the tomb in John’s gospel?  What did happen the-time-between the moment they closed the tomb with the stone and the moment the angels said to the women, “he has been raised” in the synoptic gospels?  The four gospels are silent about the-time-between both moments.  They mystery of resurrection lies there.

No one was there except God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Is it possible to have an idea of what happened even if nobody was there?

The book of Genesis can help us to have an idea of it, just like the same book gives us an idea of the beginning of the creation even though no human being was present.  When God created heaven and earth, there was darkness over the deep.  God who Himself is light said “Let there be light”, and the light appeared.  The original darkness could not prevent the light, the first creation of God, shinning on.  However, human beings brought the darkness back over God’s creation because of sin.  God so loved the world that he sent His Son to set us free from the darkness of sin and death.  As we sinners can be allergic to light, we crucified the light of the world and laid Him as a prisoner of the darkness of the tomb.  Nevertheless, just like the original darkness could not prevent the light, the first creation of God, shinning on, the darkness of the tomb could not stop the light of the world, Jesus, who is light from light.  Nothing can take away Jesus’ victory over the darkness of death.  How are we involved in the mystery of such a victory?

Since the day of our baptism, we have received not only the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead but also the light of the Risen Lord. Let us keep the light alive, radiant in the brightness of our Lord.  This is the light that will prevent us from staying prisoner of the darkness of the tomb.  It will help us to overcome death, to see God who is light, and live with Him forever.

Fraternally Yours, 
Rev. Fr. Godfrey Musabe