March 27, 2018

A CHAPLAIN’S THOUGHT/Easter 2018: Easter happens to us

The Resurrection window above the tabernacle in St. Dominic Chapel
The Resurrection window above the tabernacle in St. Dominic Chapel

By Rev. James F. Quigley, O.P. ’60, Associate Chaplain, National Alumni Association

Imagine a scene: It was early in the morning. The disciple tossed and turned on his cot all night. Was it a bad dream? Was it true? Had He really died? It was not supposed to happen this way. The disciple had put all his hopes in Jesus. He was the Messiah, the savior, the son of God, the one who would fix everything. Now, all that was over.

Then, a knock at the door … a whisper. “The body is gone, the tomb is empty.” The disciple jumped up and ran to the garden and saw it was true. The tomb was empty; He was gone. And then it dawned on him, and he believed. Christ had risen. It was Easter morning.

Easter holds out the possibility of reversibility. Nothing, not even death, is final. What had happened was shocking, something no one was expecting. Jesus had walked away from the tomb. He was alive.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an object of faith and can be a test of faith. What it means is that we believe Jesus is still living now, in time and history. He is with us, with our families, with our communities, not just a memory.

Easter offers a new note of hope and faith that what God did once in a graveyard in Jerusalem he will repeat on a grand scale. Against all odds the irreversible will be reversed. We believe in our own resurrection and the life of the world to come. That is our future, and it is the future of all our loved ones who have gone or will go before us.

The tomb was empty. Happy Easter.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Quigley suggests alumni and friends read the following gospel passage (John 20: 3-8) in the company of family and friends, or alone, on Easter and during the Easter season.

So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered His head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and saw and believed.