Metropolitan Methodios' Paschal Reflection
Tonight we make our way to the life giving Tomb as did Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James and Salome the “first day of the week after the Sabbath”.
We approach not to anoint the Body of Jesus, for we know that it is nowhere to be found. We journey to the Tomb to contemplate the awesome mystery of the Resurrection.
As we draw near, we are reminded of what the Risen Lord said to the Myrrh bearing women, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee and there they will see me.” (Mt. 28:10). The Risen Lord tells each of us tonight not to be afraid to be evangelists of His Resurrection.
Perhaps as never before, the world needs to hear the message of forgiveness, of hope and joy, and new life! The joyous message of the Resurrection is that the history of humanity has forever been changed. The long reign of sin (and death which is its consequence) was shattered by the triumph of the Cross which revealed the truth about good and evil. Evil never has the last word, because love is stronger than death. Out of the darkness of Golgotha----out of the Tomb----the luminous message of hope is proclaimed.
Our message to the world must be that voiced by St. Paul, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5.17)
Jesus directed the Myrrh bearing women to tell His disciples to meet him in Galilee. He tells today’s disciples to meet Him there as well. Our Galilee is located in Boston and in cities throughout the United States and the entire world. We will see the Lord amongst those whom we have ignored---those whom we have abandoned to wallow in poverty and misery, in malnutrition and famine. We will see the Risen Lord among the sick and the suffering, the neglected and rejected, the marginalized and those victimized by crime and violence.
We are called to bring the Easter Message to those who have been seduced by the powerful attraction of hedonism and consumerism, and especially to those who are determined to use every means to exclude God from the public sphere and from social conscience.
Let us leave the Tomb bearing the Light of Christ to evangelize the world. And our Evangelion, our “good news”, is that Christ opened the gates of Hades and, entering the realm of death, hopelessness and eternal suffering, He conquered death through the power of love. In Hades, the Risen Lord resurrected Adam and Eve and all men and women incarcerated in gloom, despair, and hopelessness.
The Risen Savior took them by the hand and freed them from eternal captivity, filling their beings with light. He put the lost sheep upon his shoulders and carried them home. His Holy Cross was the key that opened the door to Paradise.
This is the message we must bring to a world which is unable to move beyond what is scientifically verifiable and, as a consequence, finds itself constantly mired in emptiness and misery.
Let us proclaim that love has been proven stronger than hatred. That justice, truth, mercy, forgiveness and love prevail in the Faith of the Resurrected Lord.
It was at the empty Tomb where God’s power was revealed in weakness, and human sufferings were transfigured by divine Glory.
Let us bury all our anxieties and fears, and let us go forth proclaiming the triumph and promise of a new life.
Armed with the Light of Christ, let us join the Prophet Isaiah and proclaim boldly “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55)