Easter Sunday (March 31, 2013)

Jesus statue on the campus of the University of Notre Dame

Easter Readings 2014

We don’t often think of it, but a significant symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus is the stone that was rolled away from the tomb. This was a massive piece of rock; two or three grown men would struggle to move it. When the tomb is guarded by armed soldiers, it becomes well-nigh impossible. Yet there it was, on Easter morning, rolled back.

One of the early Church Fathers, Peter Chrysologus (400-450 AD) remarked: “To behold the Resurrection, the stone must first be rolled away from our hearts.”

Entombed within our hearts are many fears, some dating back to our childhood and even now affecting our lives in ways we may be unaware of. When we are kids we are afraid of getting lost or of being forgotten. Later we are afraid that we will not be liked, that we will not be acceptable, or that will just look stupid. Still later, we are afraid that we will lose those we love, those who are so important to our daily lives. We’re afraid of losing our mobility, our mental powers or our ability to take care of our physical needs.

Also entombed within our hearts are memories of hurts past and present. We are all hurt as we journey through this life. Sometimes we are able to let go of the hurts, no matter how severe. At other times, we hold on to them and let them blot out the joy and beauty of other life experiences. The unfaithfulness of a spouse, the injustice of an employer, the abuse of a parent, the rejection by a friend are examples of hurts that can cling and sting years after they’re experienced.

And here’s the paradox: through Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection, the stone has been rolled away from the tomb of our hearts. Yet we keep pushing it back because we want to protect ourselves. We don’t want other to know our fears. We don’t want to be hurt again. And by pushing it back and refusing to let it be moved, that rock hangs heavy in our hearts, minds, our very lives. We actually stop ourselves from experiencing new life.

Take to heart what Jesus said that Easter morning: “Do not be afraid!”

With love and prayer …
herb yost reflections

Fr. Herb, C.S.C.

More Related Articles