The women saw the stone rolled away from the tomb. We can picture them walking early in the morning and becoming more and more perplexed at the situation. And then, as unexpected as the stone not barring the entrance to the tomb, there was an angel, waiting for them. The angel’s appearance makes me think of Presvytera when I come to ask her a question and, as often as not, she jumps and says, “You need to make more noise.” If an ordinary event, when not expected, can cause surprise, what are we to say about the appearance of an angel in the tomb? And then he says words that, at least at first, must have seemed incomprehensible: “He is risen.”
I can just see the myrrh-bearers: confused, looking around, so the angel speaks again, “He is not here; see the place where they laid him.” It is no wonder that the Gospel lesson this morning says that “trembling and astonishment had come upon them.” Even the most level-headed of us would be overwhelmed by the Resurrection.
Living 2000 years after the historical event, it can seem less immediate, less overwhelming, somehow less important. Yet, the Resurrection is the central event of history. Its importance and magnitude cannot diminish, for in the Resurrection everything is changed. In order to overcome this temporal distance and fully enter the mystery, we need to encounter the living God as Mary Magdalene encountered Him in the garden. In God, distances in time disappear and we can be together with the myrrh-bearing women at the empty tomb, awed and astonished by the presence of the infinite, eternal, and indescribable Creator. May God guide us to the astonishment of the myrrh-bearers, that we, too may proclaim the Resurrection of Christ to those around us as they did to the apostles.
With love in Christ,