My Dear Sisters and Brothers! The angel of the Lord who did the heavy work opening the tomb for us doesn’t give us a torch so that we could examine the tomb. Instead he gives us the Word of God, the Good News: ‘There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would.’
When the world was still covered in darkness, on the first day of the week, on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, it was Jesus’ tomb radiating God’s light. The angel of the Lord didn’t open the tomb to free Jesus. The Lord didn’t need the stone rolled away to leave the tomb. His Resurrection can’t be explained by walking out of the tomb. The Shroud of Turin, which is displayed today for veneration during this difficult time of pandemic, still mystifies the scientists trying to understand how the body of the Man disappeared from it. All that can be said is that… there isn’t any known physical process that can explain it. That’s why our loving Father sent his angel, his messenger, to illumine the women and us, to enlighten our confusion on what happened in the sepulchre: ‘Jesus is not here, for he has risen.’ There is no need for any light to see what is inside the tomb. On the contrary there is plenty of light coming from the tomb to illumine our world still covered in darkness.
My Dear fellow Christians staring at the empty tomb of Jesus at his Easter Vigil 2020.
730000 times the Earth has seen the sunrise since the day when the women came to the see the sepulchre. However we still realise that the light of the Sun hasn’t dispersed the darkness which fill the human hearts. That’s why as we listen to the Gospel account for this Easter Vigil we humbly and honestly acknowledge that this reading describes our condition, we are still at the time ‘towards dawn.’
730000 sunrises symbolise all the hopes people of every generation have ever had, hopes for a fresh start, hopes for a better tomorrow, hopes for a new world, etc.
730000 sunrises also symbolise all the people and various political, social, philosophical and ideological systems which have made the above promises.
There have been lots of hopes and lots of promises. However these 730000 sunrises remind us also of 730000 sunsets which symbolise all the shattered hopes made by bygone promisors.
In this human situation of ours we are faced with a promise which addresses all the hopes we find in ourselves. As we stand with the two women in front of the empty sepulchre the merciful message of our heavenly Father is about his Risen Son Jesus Christ. The Church joyfully and faithfully proclaims and dwells on this message about Jesus: ‘The one Morning Star who never sets, who coming back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, and lives and reigns for ever and ever.’
My Dear Friends! At the beginning of this Liturgy a single flame of the large Easter Candle was brough into the dark church. Look at this flame now. It is the light which in the mystery of this Liturgy connects us to the light emanating from the opened and empty sepulchre of Jesus Christ. This light is not for exploring that ancient tomb. This light is for us so that we could walk in the glory of the Risen Lord.