My Dear Sisters and Brothers!
If people still turn to Jesus Christ for directions in their lives, if people still open the Bible looking for directions in their lives it is because Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified and laid in the tomb is risen, he is alive. That’s what we see in the scene captured by the Gospel of St John. By the way, did you notice how much running happens in this Gospel passage? Mary Magdala runs back to the city after seeing the empty tomb. Peter and John run to the tomb after Mary tells them about the missing body of the Lord. Lots of running, like on a typical morning in Melbourne when people go jogging. However the Gospel doesn’t tell us about joggers because it was the time before jogging was invented. When I was a kid, seeing a running person I would think about two scenarios: the person was late for an appointment or something big happened to the person, and he or she was running to tell the news or ask for help. The Gospel for this Mass shows us the second scenario: those people we heard of run because something big had happened to them: Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. His Resurrection changed everything. The tomb was empty but their lives weren’t empty any more, Jesus was in their lives again, not simply as a fond memory from the past but as a real person, their true Saviour.
A few weeks ago I listen to a conversation on the radio. A man was talking about his family. What he remembered of his Dad was that his father was always carrying a briefcase. He said: “As a child I thought: My Dad is a serious businessman, always taking important documents with him to work on them.” When his Dad died they found the briefcase in his room. Do you know what they found inside? Love letters from his wife. He was reading them all the time. He was a serious businessman and though the letters didn’t offer him advise how to solve problems at work they gave him an assurance that back home there was a person who loved him when he was successful and when he was failing. Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t a show of a superstar to make us say: WOW. Do you know why Jesus rose from the dead? For you and for me so that we could believe that in Jesus we have our sins forgiven. It means that God doesn’t love us more when we are good and loves less when we fail, when we sin, but he loves us always. That’s why the Easter stories should be in your briefcase, or better to say in your heart and mind, as the one who rose from the dead wanted to be understood by all.
He said I am the bread of life so that bakers could understand him. He said I am the living water so that plumbers could understand him. He said I am the light of the world so that electricians could understand him. He said I am you teacher so that school people: big and little could understand him. He said I am the way so that drivers could understand him. He said I am the truth so that the politicians could understand him. He said I am the friend of the tax collector so that tax office people could understand him. He said I am the friend of sinners so that I could understand him. He said I am the wine so that people from Barossa Valley could understand him. He said I am the Good Shepherd so that our farmers could understand him. He said I am the Resurrection and the Life so that all of us who dream and hope that our story doesn’t finish with the last heartbeat could see those dreams and hopes fulfilled by the One who rose from the dead so that we could have faith in him to cling to.