Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Easter Reflection -- Easter Sunday
Father Dean Smith, Holy Angels, Aurora, Parochial vicar
April 6, 2023
Throughout the early centuries of the Church, when 
 
Christians would meet each other during the Easter season, one would proclaim, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” And the one so greeted would respond: “The Lord is risen, indeed! Alleluia!”
 
We would do well to emulate those early Christians in reminding ourselves and one another that the Lord lives! And we would do well to review the first words of the first witness to the Lord’s empty tomb.
 
Mary Magdalene reported to Peter and John: “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him” (Jn 20:2). Whereupon, Peter and John race to the tomb for verification.
But return to Mary Magdalene’s statement, starting with its second half: “… we don’t know where they have laid Him.” 
 
True! Jesus’s followers actually don’t even know if He was “laid” anywhere. Given the hostility that led to His crucifixion, enemies could have found and cast His corpse to carrion-eaters. As if in support of such a possibility, Jesus Himself had once said, “Where the body is, there will the vultures be gathered together” (Mt 24:28). 
 
But this is not all. Consider Mary Magdalene’s first words: “They have taken the Lord.” 
 
Not only do the disciples not know where, they don’t even know who took “the Lord out of the tomb.”
 Nope. For once, it is not mere slang to say that Jesus’s followers were “clueless.” But they were all frantic to find the dead Jesus.
 
But now, just as we can shout the Easter Acclamation (which they could not quite yet); so too we know the answers to all their questions:
 
1) Jesus was not “laid” anywhere — He was raised.
 
2) Jesus need not be sought any-where, because, in His divinity, He is every-where. 
 
3) And there was a “they” who did “take the Lord out of 
the tomb” … if you don’t mind using “they” to refer to the Holy Trinity.
 
But, of course, those disciples are now one up on us. For not only can they say, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” — but Christ can say of and to them: “Alleluia! YOU, TOO, are risen!”
 
May He be able to greet in the same words — all of us!
 
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