Easter Message From AOH National Chaplain

When the disciples and the holy women arrived at the tomb on Easter morning, they found that the tomb was empty. This was not good news; in fact it was bad news, disturbing news. They thought that the tomb had been desecrated and that the body of Jesus had been stolen. Even when the angel told them: He is Risen, He is not here, they did not believe and as the Gospel today concludes: ‘They did not understand the Scripture that He had to rise from the dead.”

Mary Magdalene continued to be overcome by grief and she wandered around the garden. The tears were still welling up in her eyes, when she was startled by someone whom she thought to be a gardener. At first Mary did not recognize the Lord, until he said to her: “Mary”. “Mary”

There is something magical and almost mystical when your name is said by someone you love or someone who loves you. When she heard her name, Mary knew that it was the Lord. For Mary Magdalene, all grief disappeared, all despair vanished and all sadness became just a distant memory.

For each one of us, the Feast of the Resurrection also means that Jesus will never forget our names. Even when our pilgrimage on earth is complete, we will be called into eternal happiness by that most precious of names – our name, a name given to us in Baptism. Jesus has truly risen from the dead and is with us – now, today and forever. Through His Rising from the dead, Jesus promises us resurrection.

Mary Magdalene received a strong hint of the Resurrection when Jesus freed her from her demons. She started living with a new life.

Jesus wants to give to each one of us some taste of that resurrected life even while we are still on this earth. Many times in life we have received something as a gift; many times newness has come into our lives; our marriage to the love of our live, the birth and Baptism of our children; the ordination of a son or the religious profession of our of our daughters; many people have loved us or given us a hug when we really needed it. These and so many other signs show us the presence of the Risen Christ in our lives. Through our love, mercy, and compassion may each one of us be signs of the new life of Christ for our brothers and sisters.

– Father Tom O’Donnell, AOH National Chaplain