After Old Testament Readings; Eighth Reading: Rom 6:3-11; Psalm: 118. R. v. Alleluia;Gospel: Mk 16:1-7



The execution of Jesus was the kind of execution reserved for criminals and rebels. Customarily, victims of crucifixion are left hanging dead on the cross that birds and wild creatures might feed on them. But Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus and a respected member of the council took courage and went secretly to Pilate to ask permission to take down the body of Jesus for burial (Mk 16:43-45). And Pilate gave him leave. Due to this restricted arrangement, the women couldn’t anoint the body of Jesus before burial. And they couldn’t go the next day also; for it was the Sabbath.

When the Sabbath was over, the women – Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint the body of Jesus; the last services to be rendered to a dead body according to the Jewish burial custom. Their journey to the tomb was packed with many negative expectations; but what they eventually witnessed was to the contrary.

Firstly, they expected to find the tomb closed as they wondered who would roll the stone away for them. But on getting to the tomb, they found that the stone had already been rolled back. Secondly, to have gone to the tomb with a burial spice to anoint the body of Jesus suggests that they expected to find Jesus’ body still lying dead in the tomb; but surprisingly, the body of Jesus was not there. Thirdly, on entering the tomb, in place of seeing the remains of Jesus, they instead saw an angel speaking to them about his resurrection. And finally, instead of leaving the tomb sorrowful and despairing; they left the tomb trembling in astonishment with the god news of the resurrection. Jesus defied all their expectations. And this is precisely the Easter story.

The Easter story is not about our expectations but God’s. Easter happened that our expectations may change; and that our faith may come to live and grow. Easter happened that we may see what Christ expects from us. Christ expects us to trust in his power to do the impossible. Christ expects us to trust in the promises of his gospel. Christ expects us to believe that He is the resurrection and the life; and that whoever believes in him will not be held captive by death but will rise again. Christ expects us to believe that his word must surely come to pass. If Christ promised to rise again after three days and kept his promise; then Christ is reliable, and we now believe without doubt that all his promises in the gospel shall be fulfilled. This is the assurance that the Easter story brings.

The women left the tomb with a transformed mentality; and ultimately, with unequivocal faith in Christ. It was no longer about what they heard Christ said; it is now about what they saw that Christ did. As Easter people, when we depart at the end of this Mass; something in us also must change. Our belief in the gospel should grow. Our faith in Christ Jesus should increase. Our expectations must give way to trust in God. Our fears and doubt must vanish because Christ has proven that He never fails. This transformation needs to happen in us because henceforth we have become Easter messengers bringing the message of hope and salvation to the whole world. For how can we preach a message that we are not convinced of?

Easter calls us to believe that God can surprise us; that God can change our situations even when all hope is lost. Easter calls us to begin to hope and not despair even when we are not certain of what lies ahead of us. Easter assures us that if we can trust in God, things will fall in place over time. If we believed in the resurrection story, then our Easter blessings will never end because Christ will never cease to do something new and beautiful in our lives.

Have a Blessed Easter celebration.


Risen Christ, may your resurrection story strengthen our faith in you, and increase in us the zeal to witness to your gospel. Amen

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