DO NOT LOOK FOR THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD – Easter Vigil / Holy Saturday – Year A

MATTHEW 28:1-10

– Fernando Armellini
Claretian Publications, Macau

The closed tomb stood for an apparent victory of the wicked.  

Faced with this tragedy, one wonders: will the darkness and the silence of the grave extinguish forever even the memory of the righteous, while those who killed him mockingly laugh? At dawn on Easter Sunday, God responded to this anguished question. In a flash of light, he detonated his life-giving power because he could not allow the Holy and Righteous One to remain in the power of death.

 After the defeat of death, the persons who have concluded their earthly life are not to be found in a grave, but in the Father’s house. The angel of the Lord sends the women: “Go at once and tell the disciples that he is risen from the dead. This is my message for you.” It is not an easy mission because one who announces the Living One runs the risk of not being believed or even of being laughed at. Only those who have made the intimate experience of a personal encounter with the Risen One have the courage to announce to all.

The women – a symbol of the community – are reassured: “Do not be afraid!” Those who love life need not fear the upsetting interventions of God. He comes to remove all the rocks that sin has placed to protect Death. It is an invitation to all to grow in the certainty of the victory of life: never will a righteous person be abandoned; each tomb, like that of Jesus, will be empty. The forces of death (injustice, oppression, slander, hatred, deceit, cunning…) will not prevail even if, apparently, for a time, they will appear to have the upper hand.

 Faced with the great scene of Easter, all the losses and all the tears of the righteous of all times make sense.

 The women hastily abandon the place of death and rush to announce to the brothers that Christ is alive. Faced with the same event, the guards do the opposite: they let themselves be corrupted by money.

It is true that after Easter people continue to die as before. However, now they know that they will not remain in death: and this is not to die. They know that life has a goal—that is not the night of the grave, but the heavenly light—and that humanity has a destiny: the endless celebration. 

Translated by Fr John Ledesma SDB
Abridged by Fr Jijo Kandamkulathy CMF