Sunday, March 31
Mk 16:1-10


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, whose love endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say: “God’s love endures forever.”
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The LORD’S right hand is raised; the LORD’S right hand strikes with power.
I shall not die, but live and declare the deeds of the LORD.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 


Laudato Si’ my Lord! Hallelujah! Today, with hearts overflowing with Easter joy, we contemplate the central event of our faith: the resurrection of Christ! We are in the culmination of the story of salvation within the liturgy of the Easter triduum. We are coming towards the end of the Laudato Si’ Lenten Journey away from the tomb of death and the tomb of ecological sin and toward new life and a life of ecological conversion. We invite you to slow down, to set aside time to deepen and pray over these verses of the Word. The reading of the passages from Mark on these solemn days focuses on the location of the events which are immersed in Creation; an olive, a hill and a garden. Today we find ourselves in the garden, still overshadowed by the silence of Mount Golgotha. Here we are met with a statement: “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.” Jesus should not be sought among the dead because He is the Living One! We can meet Him every day, in our daily lives, if only we learn to live by His logic and strip ourselves of the human prejudices that give us a distorted view of God’s face.

What does resurrection mean? It might be worth asking ourselves that question from time to time. Today is a special day, for all of us, and it’s only right to devote some of our attention to this concept of faith that we often risk taking for granted. We are Christians and we believe in the Risen Lord. If Jesus had not risen, what then would we have believed? So it is clear that, for our faith, this is the central event of the whole story. However, one would have to ask: Do we really believe it or are we like the Sadducees who denied the resurrection? To the Sadducees, Jesus replied, “He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.” The great error that arises, “Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?” This is the great promise of God since the time of the Old Testament and reiterated by Jesus. Very often, in light of our fears, it seems as if we only believe what we see. We are afraid of death and so we think that “as long as there is life, there is hope.” The resurrection is much more than that.

It is not simply about reanimating a corpse; after all, that’s what happens to Lazarus, who some time later, months or years later, died again. Neither is it about reincarnation, as if the body in some becomes a kind of prison for the soul. Resurrection is about the body and the soul, together, because they are given life by God’s spirit. It is God who gives resurrection, which enables us in this same body, to take the form of God as is manifested in the virtues and gifts of the Spirit. The beautiful thing is that we can live as if resurrected now, already today, if we can feel the full joy of this promise deep within our being! 

When the sabbath was over” indicates the first day of the new Creation, the first day of the following Sabbaths. With the resurrection, there is no longer anything but a single day, the Lord’s Day. Every Sunday, the first day of the week, is therefore a memorial of Christ’s resurrection, as well as always being a memorial of Creation. A single day on which there is always sunshine, after we have experienced a single long night in which even the day was darkened. When the sun lives within us, there is also no alternation of day and night. The women went to the garden “very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week,” literally in the late dawn, when the sun began to brighten the night sky. They had had to wait until the end of the Sabbath, the day of rest, and as soon as they could they went immediately to the tomb, to this garden.

The word tomb, in Greek μνημεῖον (= mneméion), has a common root with the word memory (μνημεῖον) and with death and the Moires (Μοῖραι), is the concrete sign of the consciousness of death that accompanies the life of humanity. Through the tomb, each of us makes memories of the destiny that unites all humans, that is, the “humandi” who are destined to return to the humus, to the earth. Memory of origins, we are all made of  the earth, and to the earth we are destined to return. A stone, in each tomb, thus separates those who have already died from those who have not yet died. Our whole culture may be based on the fear of death, or the experience of women in this garden. If for us everything ends with death, and we return only to the earth, then we can risk living a greedy life, devoured by fear. If we remember that in addition to the earth, Adam and Eve live with the life breath of God, it means that we also return to God and therefore the perspective changes.

“He is risen, indeed, as he had said” sounds like an invitation to all of us, who today at the end of this Laudato Si’ Journey, on each of  these Sundays, has led us to a closer look at Scripture. More generally, it is an invitation to everyday life, accompanied by the remembrance of the words of life that we have received over the years, at Mass in our parish, or by following paths of in-depth study of Scripture, Laudato Si’ Circles, spiritual exercises, Laudato Si’ Retreats, pilgrimages and personal encounters with those who have helped us taste the beauty of the Word of God. Today we are all invited to remember.

Remembering, from the Latin recŏrdari, comes from the prefix re-, and cordis (literally “to bring back to the heart”), and not so much an act of the mind, because the heart was believed to be the seat of memory. Today we are not to make a philosophical or intellectual gesture, but in remembrance we are called to vibrate our heartstrings, our most spontaneous and most beautiful humanity. What must we bring to the heart today? Why does this lead us to believe in the resurrection?

“Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment.” Each of us today is called to be like these women, who go early in the morning, who out of love prepare aromas, but who are met with surprise, who overcome fear, who trust an announcement given by a young man dressed in a white robe. Who react with fright and great astonishment. How many young people we encounter in our lives! Today we are invited to hear words of life, to remember these words that make us alive. The women have believed that love is stronger than death!

Such good, life-filling news, imagine someone who loves you so much!!!! telling you of good news and success….. Your heart fills with joy. This is what we are called to do today, rejoice and proclaim. To carry on this word of mouth that has been going on for two thousand years, where men and women tell men and women this beautiful news.

As St. Francis of Assisi, in the paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer reminds us: “Oh most holy our Father: our creator, redeemer, consoler and savior. Who art in heaven: in angels and saints, enlightening them to knowledge, because you, Lord, are light; inflaming them with love, because you, Lord, are love; placing your abode in them, and filling them with bliss, because you, Lord, are the highest, eternal good, from which all good comes and without which there is no good” (FF 266-267). We thank the Lord for the tremendous gift of his death and resurrection for us and for Creation, and for teaching us to trust. Let us pray on this feast day that this new Creation may be a seed of joy for us to carry into our daily lives. 

Happy Easter in the love of the Lord!

Laudato Si’!