Saturday, 4 April 2015


I can’t understand what's going on! I know I put it safely there, in a place where I could find it. And it’s simply not there …It ought to be there. This is awful - absolutely awful. I don’t understand, I’m bewildered, it ought to be there. Someone must have moved it, no-one, no-one had a right to do this. I feel lost,  I don’t know where to turn. I feel awful. I don’t know what to do; I don’t know where to look. Help me someone! I can’t think where else to look. …I don’t know what to do next.’

And so it was early in the morning on the first day of the week. If one thing was certain it was the place where Jesus had been buried and securely entombed by a large heavy stone.

 We read in St. Luke’s Gospel, (Ch. 24),

On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, they went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away, but on entering they could not find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled at this, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side. Terrified, the women bowed their heads to the ground. But the two men said to them, ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; He has risen.’

The last thing anyone should have said would have been, ‘No problem!’

True, these men in brilliant clothes, these angels, reminded them of how Jesus had told them that He would be crucified and that on the third day He would rise again. At that moment they could not have grasped what was being said to them.

Absolutely no-one had ever   experienced WHAT BEING RISEN FROM THE DEAD was all about. These women were none the wiser when they described all this to the menfolk – the disciples and other followers of Jesus. 

St. Luke tells reaction of these men was, ‘This story of theirs seemed pure nonsense, and they did not believe them.

This Easter I find that I must enter   into and recapture for myself something of the sense of loss and the   bewilderment of those early hours of the first day of the  week. I must accept as completely reasonable the disciples’ contemptuous dismissal of the report given to them by the women. 

Gradually, cautiously, they were led, surely by the Holy Spirit, to believe that Jesus had, in fact, risen from the dead.  They did not come to believe this through their own efforts.  Their believing came about through Jesus appearing to them, revealing Himself to them, speaking with them, eating meals with them. He’d done all this  AFTER  He had been well and truly dead and buried.

What I need to capture for myself or rather, what I need God to give to me, is   a sense of wonder  that I am able to say with the certainty of Supernatural Faith, ‘I believe that on the third day He rose from the dead.’  If the very idea of this ever causes me to choke with doubt and scepticism, and to remain cemented in this mentality, then the whole structure of my Catholic Faith crumbles to the ground and my preaching about what we’re supposed to believe about Jesus becomes a farce and a  waste  of time and effort.
My Faith must also convince me that it couldn’t have been, shouldn’t have been, that eventually the body of Jesus was found, would be found, somewhere in the garden.   His rising from the dead excludes that possibility!

This is no alarmist exaggeration on my part!  I take very, very seriously what   St. Paul wrote in his  First Letter to the Corinthians, (Chapter !5). 

Why not read this for yourselves?

I take this opportunity to wish you and those dear to you abundant blessings during this Easter Season.

Peter Clarke, OP    

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