Go to Galilee, and there you will see me
The Gospel story that is read at the Easter Vigil is of exceptional importance. It does not only announce the great news that the Crucified One has been raised by God. It also shows us the path we need to travel in order to see him and meet him.
Mark speaks of three remarkable women who cannot forget Jesus. They are Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome. In their hearts has been awakened a project that could only be born of a passionate love: buy spices so they may go to the tomb and anoint his body.
What is surprising is that when they get to the tomb, they notice that it is open. When they get closer, they see a young man clothed in a white robe who reassures them in their shock and announces something that they would never have suspected.
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified? It is a mistake to look for him in the world of the dead. He is not here. Jesus is not just another dead person. This is not the time to mourn him and pay him homage. He has been raised. He is alive forever. He never again will be found in the world of the dead, the extinguished, the finished.
But if he is not in the tomb, where can he be seen? Where can we meet him? The young man reminds the women of something that Jesus had already told them: He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. In order to see the Risen One, we have to return to Galilee. Why? For what?
We cannot “see” the Risen One without taking his own route. In order to experience him full of life in our midst, we have to return to the starting-point and experience what this life, which led Jesus to the crucifixion and resurrection, has been. Otherwise the “Resurrection” will be a lofty doctrine for us, a sacred dogma, but we will not experience Jesus being alive in us.
Galilee has been the main setting of his activity. There his disciples have seen him heal, forgive, free, welcome, awaken a new hope in everyone. We who are his followers now have to do the same. We are not alone. The Risen One goes before us. We will keep seeing him if we walk in his footsteps. What is most decisive in experiencing the “Risen One” is not the study of theology or the celebration of liturgy, but the faithful following of Jesus.
April 5, 2015
Easter Sunday (B)
Mark 16, 1-7