Bishop Richard G. Lennon
friday march 27 2015
Empty tomb reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice and God’s love for us
In the course of a week I can find myself in any number of events or happenings which are pleasant and enjoyable.
The administrator of the Cathedral Parish several months ago sent letters to officials of all the parish and diocesan schools inviting them, when thinking about a class trip, to consider a trip to the Cathedral. Many schools have taken advantage of the invitation for children in fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth grade to travel to the Cathedral to see the Church and what some of the treasures in the Cathedral are. The day almost always involves participation at the noon Mass, enjoying a pizza lunch at the Cathedral and having time to talk with me and to ask questions. It is always interesting.
From my vantage point and from what I hear from school leaders and from what parents share with me, I dare say the invitation to view the Cathedral and to spend time in the Cathedral has been a success.
Earlier this week I was with a group of fifth and sixth grade boys and girls from St. Christopher School. One of the boys asked me what was my favorite Bible story. I thought about the question and I replied by saying my favorite Bible story is the empty tomb which we will hear about once again this coming Easter Sunday. I responded to a follow-up question by saying that the empty tomb was and is the story about God the Father’s love for us as His Son suffered and died for us, and then rose from the dead to conquer death not only for himself, but for those who will be saved and live forever with God.
I shared with the children the story of the women and the disciples that first Easter Sunday morning – how they went to the tomb and found it empty. St. Matthew in his Gospel tells how the angel spoke with the women and how he told them do not be afraid. He also told them to share this wonderful news with the disciples. The women went away fearful and overjoyed. On their way to the disciples Jesus met them and told them do not be afraid. He told them he would see his brothers in Galilee for he had truly risen from the dead.
Easter is the greatest of all the feasts as it is the story of the empty tomb and God’s love for all of humankind. May the empty tomb and the crucifix be for us always signs of God’s love for us as Jesus goes before us now and forever as our Savior.