It might sometimes seem that turmoil reigns around us, perhaps even threatening to engulf us. The world can seem to be in turmoil. Our Society can seem to be in turmoil. The Church may appear to be in turmoil. And our lives can sometimes seem to be in turmoil, especially in the present situation we are facing. All of these things may make us feel that turmoil reigns around us.
We shouldn’t underestimate the turmoil that those first disciples found themselves in after Jesus had been crucified on the cross. Anyone associated with him was in a very precarious position, fearful for their own lives. Not only that, these disciples had left everything to follow Jesus. They had followed him around for the three years of his ministry; they had invested in him their trust, their faith, their hopes, their emotions and expectations. Then the events of Holy Week and the crucifixion had taken place, and it must all have seemed to have fallen apart. What turmoil they found themselves in.
Then of course, in those early hours, Mary of Magdala finds the tomb open, with the stone rolled away. Mary fetched Peter and the disciple Jesus loved, who went it to the tomb, and the Gospel simply says: “He saw and he believed.” A simple but powerful statement. They came to understand that his resurrection fulfilled the Scriptures that they knew so well. What a dawning of faith that must have been. In the still dark hours in the empty tomb, faith had dawned. The turmoil of the past few days was overcome by that revelation in the empty tomb.
The empty tomb stands as a powerful symbol of the ability of the love of God to break through even the greatest turmoil. From that empty tomb faith burst forth, and the light of Christ spread into the world, a light that no darkness can overcome. In the turmoil of life, we also need to allow ourselves to be confronted with the empty tomb and stand in that empty tomb with those first disciples. In the stillness of that empty tomb we encounter the Resurrection of Christ, the ongoing presence of risen Christ in our lives today and the power of God’s love to overcome even sin and death, even in the darkest moments, even when turmoil seems to reign around us.
As we celebrate this Easter let us, in the midst of any turmoil we face in life, be confronted with the empty tomb and reiterate with those first disciples: I see and I believe. May this Easter morning celebration re-open our eyes of faith to see anew the on-going presence of the risen Christ and his power to triumph and conquer.
May the joy and the hope that Easter brings radiate out into our lives and in our world.