One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

April 10, 2007

For Easter Tuesday

John 20:11-18

When the disciples buried the Lord on Friday, the public authorities sealed the tomb and posted armed guards outside it.
On Sunday at about sunrise, in the presence of the guards, an angel rolls aside the stone blocking the door of the tomb.
The tomb is already empty.
No one actually sees the moment of the Lord’s rising out of death and his passing through the solid rock of the sealed and guarded tomb.
The Gospel testifies that when the angel rolls away the stone blocking the empty tomb, the angel then SITS DOWN on the stone.
That’s a delightful detail.
The angel topples the stone and SITS DOWN on it.
The Gospel is not satisfied to testify that the angel simply appears and puts aside the stone.
No, the angel then SITS DOWN on the stone.
It is as if to say that despite the cross, the sealed tomb and the armed guard, the Lord is risen and will never die again.
Death shall no longer have dominion over him.
Saint Mary Magdalene goes to the Lord’s grave but finds it empty.
Moments later, the risen Lord himself appears.
For almost six weeks, the disciples see the risen Lord appear
and vanish repeatedly.
They find him at table, with them, giving thanks, breaking bread and then vanishing.
They see him suddenly appear among them inside a locked room where he eats fish to prove he is no ghostly apparition.
At a lakeside, they even watch as he cooks their breakfast over an open fire.
Finally, on the fortieth day after his resurrection, they watch as he blesses them in farewell and rises into the sky.
They saw him, heard him and touched him.
He did not let them hold on.
What did they take and keep with them afterwards?
What they take and keep with them is in their minds and hearts.
Yet, he is more than their memories, more than the thoughts and dispositions of their minds and hearts.
He is HIMSELF, truly risen in glory and in flesh and blood.
We, too, are his witnesses.
We, too, can carry and keep him in our hearts and minds.
Yet, it is not we who take him to ourselves.
It is he who in his mercy and love now freely breathes the Spirit of the Father upon us and within us.
The Lord promised to be present when we gather in his name.
He approaches now in the living flesh and blood of his resurrection.

That God Be Glorified in All


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