Easter begins in the dark just before morning breaks. Its symbolic meaning cannot be ignored. Darkness or evil seemed to have overcome Jesus Christ, the Light (Jn 1:4). But darkness did not have the last word; it was the Light, Jesus, who had the last word. (Jn 1:5) Our celebration of Easter, therefore, is an invitation to come out of darkness to share in the light of the risen Lord.
How do we come out of darkness into the light?
There was a story told of a rabbi. He gathered his disciples just before the break of dawn. When day broke, he asked the question: “How can you tell when night has ended and day is here?” One disciple said, “When you can see the trees and hear the singing of the birds.” “No,” replied the rabbi. A second disciple attempted to answer. “When you hear the crowing of the roster.” “No,” said the rabbi. After a number of wrong guesses, the master answered his own question: “It is when you see in the face of a woman or man that she is your sister or he is your brother. Because if you cannot do this, no matter what time it is, you are still in the dark: you cannot see.”
What do you think brought Mary Magdalene in the dark to the tomb of Jesus just before the crack of dawn? Was it not her tremendous love? Do you remember how she braved all criticisms of the Jewish leaders and went in to the dinning table of the Pharisee Simon? How she washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, wiped it with her hair and covered his feet with kisses? Do you remember what Jesus said? He said to Simon, “… her many sins are forgiven her because she loves much.” ( Lk 7:47) It was love that brought Mary Magdalene to Jesus’ tomb before anyone else.
What was the reason for the beloved disciple, John, arriving at the tomb of Jesus before Peter? Some say that it was because John was younger than Peter. I believe there was another reason. It was the love of the beloved disciple, a term that John used for himself when writing the Gospel. When Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection at the lake of Galilee, it was the beloved disciple who first recognized that it was Jesus. It was he who informed Peter: “It is the Lord.” The love of the beloved disciple gave him swiftness of feet and eyes to see in the dark.
Because of this, St. Augustine, one of the greatest doctors of the Church, writes: “Love gives eyes.” Eyes to see what no one can see.
I remember a true story told to me by my sister. Her friend, Jane, working in the same office as she did, hated another colleague named Paul. She used to speak bad things about him and could not stand him. One day, after returning from her holidays, my sister was absolutely surprised that Jane took a hundred and eighty degrees turn and spoke with great passion of the virtues of Paul. When my sister asked her what happened. She replied that she did not know what happened. All of a sudden, one day Paul touched her and, using her own words, “electricity ran through her.” Since then, she was head over heals in love with him. It was this love that gave her eyes to see all the virtues in him that she was unable to see before.
Easter is the celebration of our faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ who gives us eyes to see Him, or Love, in everyone whom we meet as our brother or sister and gives us feet to run to the aid of any brother or sister who is in need of help. When Mother Theresa of Calcutta was asked why she went round picking the dying in the streets and in the drains, she replied, “Because I see Jesus Christ in them.” Mother Theresa of Calcutta lived the resurrection of Christ in her that gave her eyes to see and feet to run. Resurrection is love conquering darkness or evil or death.
Let us today examine our lives to see if we live the resurrection of Christ whom we proclaim. Or, are we like those who do not live what they preach – the hypocrites? Let us beg the resurrected Jesus Christ to come into our lives as He did to Mother Theresa of Calcutta so that with His love we can see in every woman or man, a sister or a brother.