- Isaiah 65:17-25
- Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
- 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
- Luke 24:1-10
Once again the loyal Galilean women are on the scene, as they have been throughout the past few days of Jesus’ passion. Their faithful compliance with the law (Luke 23:56) recalls Zechariah (Luke 1:6) and Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:22, 39) who we also faithful and obedient servants of God at the time of Jesus’ birth. Ordinary people, faithful to their ordinary religious practices, accomplish God’s purposes.
Today we hear how the women left the tomb to observe the sabbath, but have returned early the day after with spices and ointments to complete the burial ritual. It is reminiscent of Mary’s anointing Jesus with expensive nard from just two weeks ago, on Lent 5. Much to their surprise they find the stone that closed the tomb had already been rolled away. And Jesus’ body is missing. Their fear in the presence of the “two men” reminds us of the experience of Zechariah and Mary in the presence of the angel Gabriel, again preceding the birth of Christ. Again, all of this points to the fulfillment of God’s Word revealed in Jesus.
Though frightened, the women hear their message (and they are identified as angels in 24:23). They then remember what Jesus has told them while they were still in Galilee. However, the apostles however, dismiss their eyewitness account as an “idle tale.” And it isn’t until later that day (which we read on Easter Evening – Luke 24:13-49), that others experience the Risen Christ along the road.
Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians sums it up. The beginning and the end – Christ stands at the beginning of a new order – the first fruits of the resurrection. God is still in control of human history and is about to create new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17-25).
Alleluia! He is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
- Who are witnesses to events in the final portion of Luke’s gospel? What is the value of an eyewitness account? What does it mean to be a witness to an event or experience?
- Why do you think the rest of the disciples respond to the women’s news with disbelief? To what degree is your experience more believable than even an eyewitness account from someone else? What does that suggest about how you share news of Jesus today?
- In what ways are you a witness to Jesus’ resurrection? Where in your own life have you felt the joy of resurrection?
Image: Three Marys at the Tomb by Haberschrack (c. 1470). National Museum at Krakow.