Father David McGough Easter Sunday Acts 10: 34, 37-43; Colosssians 3: 1-4; John 20: 1-9 ‘You have died with Christ. The life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed, and he is your life, you too will be revealed in all your glory with him.” Easter celebrates all that Christ became in his death and Resurrection. It also celebrates, as Paul’s words clearly indicate, what we are becoming through a daily death and resurrection. If Christ’s Resurrection remains for us no more than a memory of Christ’s past, we have robbed ourselves of its saving power.
The Resurrection celebrates Christ’s life. It also celebrates Christ’s life hidden within us. This obvious but neglected truth explains, as Christ explained to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, the true meaning of our lives.
Superficially our lives appear to be a confused jumble of disaster and success, tears and joy. At times we are alive with a boundless appetite for life. At times we are empty with little to live for. What are we to make of the endless contradictions that seem to rule our lives?
“You have died with Christ. The life you have is hidden with Christ in God.” The glorious truth of Easter is that Christ embraced the many contradictions that sin has brought into our lives.
On the cross he died not for himself, but for us and for all that has died within us. Our many hidden deaths, brought about by our own sinfulness and the disappointed hopes of a broken world, he has died within us. Those hidden deaths, when they remained alone, led only to despair. When they become one with Christ’s death they become life itself. Christ, lifted up on the cross, raised to new life, has the power to transform the contradictions of sinful humanity.
The Gospel for Easter Sunday morning can be heard as a commentary on our own experience of life. Mary Magdala came to the tomb with little hope in her heart. Christ had died. There was little to live for. Her memories lay buried with Jesus in the tomb.
Unconsciously we can begin to live life with little expectation of ourselves or the world in which we live. Without realising it we have buried the best of ourselves beneath the routine of daily life. When Mary came to the tomb the stone had been rolled away. Her first reaction was one of loss. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put him.” Simon Peter and the other disciple raced to the tomb and saw the evidence, the abandoned shrouding cloths and the empty tomb. Something changed within them. The emptiness of the tomb no longer reflected the emptiness of sinful humanity. They experienced to the full what St Paul describes so clearly in us all: “You have been brought back to true life in Christ. The life you have is hidden with Christ in God.” Our journey to the fullness of life with Christ is begun but not finished. We can have no doubt where it is to be found. Within ourselves.
We cannot say that life has parted us from Christ, that he is lost to us, that we do not know where to find Him. He lives hidden in our hearts. There is everything to live for. “When Christ is revealed, and he is your life, you too will be revealed in all your glory with Him.” May you and your families share this joy at Easter.