In the Gospel of this holy night of Easter, we heard that “Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them” (Lk 24:10), the same ones who had come with Jesus from Galilee and had been present at his crucifixion and burial (Lk 23:39–55), on the first day of the week, “went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared” (24:1). They go to the tomb, moved by love for the Master who is already deceased, desiring only to honor his body with one last gesture of affection.
Their love for Jesus will make them discover a truth that will change their lives forever. —Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. #EasterTweet
These women have known Jesus intimately; they have followed him, served him, witnessed his goodness and mercy but also the cruel death to which he was condemned as well as his burial. It all seems to be over and they have to go back to living as they did before. Only their love for the Master remains, but this love will make them discover a truth that will change their lives forever, as well as ours.
These women know the whole story of Jesus well, but they have not yet reached the depths of the mystery and ultimate knowledge of the truth of Jesus.
They will begin to sense something of this mystery only when they are surprised by two facts that they cannot explain: the stone that covered the tomb had been removed and inside the tomb Jesus’ body was missing (Lk 24:2–3). That surprises them. “They were perplexed about this,” the Gospel says (Lk 24:4).
Who moved that stone, where is Jesus’ body? They were puzzled. Something similar often happens to us when things occur that we can’t explain or when we don’t know how to cope. We’d rather not let anything happen to us that can’t be explained; we’d like to be able to understand everything that takes place. But that’s not the case.
All the same, we must accept that God surprises us, that he intervenes in our lives producing unexpected changes, opening unprecedented horizons, removing insurmountable obstacles. There are new things that surprise us; the newness disconcerts and frightens us, as well as the change that God brings us, the changes that God ask of us.
We must accept that God surprises us, that he intervenes in our lives producing unexpected changes. —Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. #EasterTweet
Sometimes they’re such drastic changes in life that we feel disoriented; sometimes they’re risks that we have to take from which we’d like to flee. These are God’s surprises.
Although we can’t explain some situations that we experience—and with our limited understanding, we don’t find any logical explanation—we always trust in God who surprises us by acting in unexpected ways.
It’s not easy to let yourself be surprised by God. It requires a high dose of trust in his love. —Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. #EasterTweet
But it’s better to abandon ourselves into his hands, even without understanding, than to be paralyzed by fear or enslaved to the security and nostalgia that deceive us.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily at the Easter Vigil (excerpt)
20 April 2019