Message from Pr. Cipriano


Jesus was buried on "Good Friday" but his disciples could not go to the tomb on the next day since it was Sabbath. They were also paralyzed by fear and hid themselves behind locked doors.

Mary Magdalene on the first day of the week (Sunday), went very early to the tomb to anoint the corpse of Jesus with oil. What she found at the tomb,shattered her into pieces. The stone of the tomb had been rolled away... the corpse was gone... Mary ran to the Apostls to tell them the incredible news. "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, we don't know where they have laid Him". Soon, Peter and John went to the tomb to see what happened. The stone of the tomb had been rolled away. Inside the tomb they did not see any corpse. The burial cloths were there,and also the handkerchief which had been about his head, was lying folded in a different place. The details emphasized that the grave had not been robbed. What Peter and John saw perplexed them, "for as yet they did not understand the holy Scripture, that He must rise from the dead" (John.20,1-10).

There are numerous accounts of resurrection encounters in the Gospels. These encounters follow a common pattern that describes the "experience" of meeting the risen Lord. There is a mood of sadness, fear, despondency. Jesus's followers are in darkness, their minds are closed. For example,Mary Magdalene is in the garden weeping;the Emmaus disciples are returning home disappointed.

The initiative for the encounter comes from Jesus; He accompanies the disciples wandering in their confusion. Jesus comes to Mary, but she thinks he is only the gardener. Jesus walks with the Emmaus disciples... There is a greeting of peace and reconciliation; "peace be with you", this is the Jesus's greeting... The high point comes in the moment of recognition, a mission-command from Jesus concludes the encounter.

How blessed they are! It is what we feel, but Jesus said "Blessed are they who have not seen,and yet have believed" (John.20,29).

We have not seen the Risen Lord and yet we believe. The resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith.

Fr. Cipriano Bontacchio