This is the day which the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice therein!
He is risen! Alleluia! Truly, today we remember why we live and move and have our being; why we cannot lose hope; why we can rejoice in all things and all times. Our Lord is risen, death is defeated, he is victorious!
As I look through the readings of the day, my mind draws me to another familiar Easter passage found in Mark, chapter sixteen: When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb, and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” It always strikes me that on the darkest day of their lives, these women know that the only consolation they can imagine is being near Jesus’s dead body. It also always stands out to me that it is the women who find the strength and lead the way.
The women are at the cross until he is taken down. The women rise early after the Sabbath to tend to his body. They come together in their strength and in their grief, and they know they have to do something. They go in faith not even knowing how they will get to his body, but knowing they have to go. Because of their faith, and their need, they are rewarded and are the first to hear the message of the angel: Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
And then they are sent to the men, to Jesus’ closest companions to be the bearer of the life-altering news: But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” God trusts these three faithful mothers to spread the word that the world is forever changed, and that all of God’s promises have been fulfilled.
In these passages, I see the beauty of our feminine genius, the glory of our vocation. Mary, the Mother of God, leads the way in her faith, her strength, and her sacrifice. We are the bearers of hope! In a world that reduces everything to utility and distorts identity in an attempt to find meaning, we live in “sincerity and truth” (I Cor 5:6). In our sincerity, we know we can do nothing apart from Jesus, and we hold fast to the truth that he is risen, that we have unimaginable hope, and that we are called to be the bearers of that hope to a dying world.
God calls us to intimately participate in his divine plan to save the world from sin. He allows us to be co-creators, he calls us to teach and to form, to put those he entrusts to us on a path to holiness, but above all, he calls us to be a reflection of his promises. We get to be the reflection of his perfect, unquenchable love. Not by creating a perfect home, or never making mistakes, but by living in the reality of the truth and being certain, that above all, our domestic church rests and rejoices in the wonderous, boundless, immutable hope that Christ is risen, that fear and death have been defeated. We are Easter mothers, and Alleluia is our song!