By Kaelanne Jordan email@example.com Many people think of the Resurrection in really strange ways as if somehow Jesus’ soul rose from the dead. “But the text says something else,” Archbishop Jason Gordon said in his homily for the Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Saturday, April 16 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The Archbishop explained that unlike Lazarus who was raised from the dead to die again, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ “is completely different from that”. “It’s not coming back to this state. And that’s why the scripture says they can find no body, no earthly remains of the physical body of Jesus was found in the tomb. Because that body, something happened to it…God said ‘Let there be light and there was light’.”
The Resurrection, the Archbishop underscored, is not simply coming back from death. He mentioned the many persons in our time who faced near-death experiences. “They die, they’re clinically dead and they know everything that’s happening, and they come back. That’s not the Resurrection of Jesus; that’s a nice experience,” Archbishop Gordon said. “What is different in the Resurrection? Well the body is missing, and we also know that the body comes out of the tomb with the stone still in place and why, because we know on the first day of the week when the doors were closed, He enters into the room and says, ‘Peace be with you’ with the doors locked.
So now we have the body that can go through physical spaces. And so, we’re talking about something really, really different,” he explained. Archbishop Gordon commented that in the Resurrection story, the “beauty” in the text is that the women—Mary and Mary Magdalene believed in Christ’s Resurrection. “And not only did the women believe, they ran to the apostles where they were in the upper room and gave them the whole story that they experienced. And the men doubted.” The women’s belief, the Archbishop emphasised, is very important because the Gospel of Luke highlights women as the archetype of the disciples, sometimes to the shame of the men.
He explained, “Anybody who is a Jew in the first century, if they were going to make up the story of the Resurrection, they would never have the women believing, because in any court of law, the testimony of the women is not accepted, only the testimony of men and you need at least two witnesses for it to even begin to hold.” The Archbishop maintained the fact that the gospel narrates that it is the women who believed, and they were the first witnesses of the Resurrection, is a “historical fact” that this “could not be made up because it would go against everything in that culture”.
At the Mass, Archbishop Gordon opined it was a “beautiful night” as he spoke of the nine candidates to be received into the Church for Baptism. “They come tonight with hearts bursting with expectation to receive what you already have received, to be baptised into the one faith, one law, one truth. To receive tonight and to be received by God as adopted sons and daughters, to receive the Eucharist for the very first time in their life, to be anointed with holy chrism, prophet, priest and king and to become a daughter and son of God. But tonight, unlike the first night, both the men and the women believe,” the Archbishop said to applause. At the end of the Mass the Archbishop commented, “what a beautiful Triduum we had”, to applause. He paid special thanks to the choir, Trinity TV, the “faithful” altar servers, Eucharistic and hospitality ministers, deacons and “of course” Almighty God “who is risen from the dead as He said He would be.”