Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
John 20: 3-9
In a few days’ time, we will travel the last steps of an arduous journey following the steps of Jesus. The darkest days of that path await just ahead – jeering, trial, anxiety, pain, suffering, betrayal, the hard wood of the cross and the darkness of a tomb.
We have prepared for Holy Week with waiting, reflection, and prayer. We have ordered our minds and equipped our hearts, not just for the pain but also so that we might receive the glory. It is at the foot of the cross that we know the depth of God’s love and sacrifice for all of creation, and it is at the empty tomb that we realize the wide expanse of God’s promise and the work of reconciliation.
The resurrection is the basis of our faith and the foundation of our proclamation of the Gospel. It is our hope for life in this world and the next. Its joy is as vital to us as the heartbeats in our chests. Let us delight in the mystery, rejoice in the triumph and share the excitement of this miraculous news. Let us run with delight to witness the miracle of the stone rolled away. Christ is risen, the grave is empty, and death is conquered.
We must not keep such news to ourselves. This Easter, do not go to your collective celebration alone. Bring someone with you who has not heard the Good News, someone who has left the church for whatever reason, someone who now more than ever needs to know the love of Jesus Christ. Pray about it and then act on it. As Christians we are called to evangelize. Your invitation will not only change their life, but deepen your own journey into the heart of the Risen Christ.
Your brother in Christ,
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania