My brothers and sisters in Christ,
If you have a practical joker in your family, perhaps someone has given you a gift and wrapped it up
in a different sized box from a different store to prevent you from guessing what the gift will be.
Imagine opening a gift, only to find that the box was empty. That must have been what Mary
Magdalene felt when she arrived to find the tomb empty. She exclaims, “they have taken my Lord
and I don’t know where they put him.” Surely the grief of loss must have already been overwhelming
and now the body is lost.
Unexpected and strange it was, this time death did not mean that the tomb was the end. This time the
stone rolled closed was not the signal of the final act. This time the empty tomb was not a trick, it was
evidence that something different had happened. For this time, death did not win. This time, death was
overcome. The stone was rolled open once again and with it, the empty tomb becomes the wrapper
of the greatest gift ever given. As Jesus rolled open the stone, so the gates of heaven were burst open
allowing the possibility of salvation for those whose hope and joy find their source in a God who does
not banish forever, but who opens the door to salvation for each of us.
Today we celebrate with great joy and gratitude God’s gift of new life. We know, however,
tomorrow we will return to our lives, which may at times feel like empty tombs. We are blessed that
the ongoing gift of resurrection has left us communities whose members are committed to helping others
find a place where the door is open and even hearts that feel empty find the fullness of new life in
We are blessed to be a part of a community where hearts, even if they are empty, can know the
fullness of the new life won for us in the Easter mystery. If Mary Queen is home, thank you for your
presence and witness, which enliven our faith in what our savior has done for us. If you are visiting, I
pray that your visit here is joy filled and that you can take that joy home with you. If you are looking
for a parish home, I pray that the joy you experience with us today would move you to consider
making Mary Queen your home and that you would know the fullness of new life here.
Good and gracious heavenly Father, we come before you on this Easter Sunday with full and grateful
hearts for the gift of the Paschal Mystery that you showed us in the life, death, and resurrection of your
Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Bless us and all those who profess belief in your saving love. Bless also those who have yet to profess
belief in you. Bless each of us as we celebrate the gift of resurrection, won by Our Risen Savior, who lives
and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.