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Andrée Endinger’s sermon for Easter

Sermon by Andrée Endinger for Easter: Brothers and sisters, dear friends, this morning I have only good news for us. Doesn’t that make a difference to us?

XNUMX centuries after that day of Passover, when Mary of Magdala, Mary, mother of James and Salome, after having accompanied Jesus in his death on the cross, leave in the early morning towards the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathea placed the body of Jesus a few hours earlier. They bought aromatics to embalm Jesus… perhaps they found some of this nard that a stranger from Bethany poured over Jesus’ head, thus embalming him during his lifetime!

So on this Easter morning 2021, I invite you to take this path to the tomb, following in the footsteps of these three women.

The two Marie and Salomé advance in silence, in the grip of deep sadness. They do not express their distress, which we can however guess: in fact, they are going to accomplish this work reserved for women who, just as they accompany birth, take care of death and the last gestures of tenderness and tribute to the one who is no longer and who was dear to them…

But they express concern: “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the sepulchre? A legitimate question and concern, they know that they won’t be able to do it alone! A question that also tells us that these women, if they are sad, remain in life and have kept a small grain of hope deep inside themselves. They hope that someone, a gardener, will be there to help them… With courage, they got up at sunrise and took to the road, despite the fear, despite the sadness, without letting themselves be locked into despair…

So this morning, let us dare to move forward towards Jesus, without fear and without complexes, such as we are, with our shortcomings, our regrets, our fears, our deaths, our distresses, our suffering… I do not know your lives, but what I know, is that for each and every one of you, life brings its share of greater or lesser sorrows… Yes, it is with our own questions and concerns that we move forward this morning towards Easter, but also with all the collective uncertainties generated by the strange health situation that we have been experiencing for a year. Resurrection is not a magic wand, as we will discover with our three companions of the day

“Who will roll away the stone for us? »

The three women are placed before an impossible and throughout their walk they have brooded over this question, without knowing that another impossible awaits them at the tomb. Indeed, when they arrive, the stone is already rolled away. We don’t know by whom or how, but it’s a fact: the question that preoccupied them along the way no longer needs to be asked.

Don’t we find ourselves somewhat in this experience of the Marys and Salome? Don’t we often have questions that hang over us like an impossible lid to lift, questions that suddenly become useless because the answer has given itself? And we couldn’t even really say how all these impossibles in our lives suddenly became possible. In any case, I have already experienced this.

The stone was rolled away and the impossible became possible. They enter the tomb and another impossible comes to awaken their fear. They were expecting death, and it is life that welcomes them in the person of a young man dressed in white. The guardian tomb of death becomes a bearer of life, an opening to life.

They expected death and it is life that they find.

And between these two realities, death and life, between the death of Jesus on the cross and the resurrection of Jesus there is the Sabbath. They observed, as good Jews, the time of the Sabbath and this took precedence over the duty to render to a dead person, even Jesus!

For Jews, the Sabbath is more important than death and mourning. It is the first feast of Judaism, the day of the week when the Creator regenerates his creatures into rest. Before rendering honors to a dead person, the first duty of the believer is to honor the God of life. The words of Genesis resonate ” there was evening, there was morning ” the light comes to burst into the night, into the darkness.

And for us Christians, this is as wonderful news as for Judaism: life is coming to burst into death!
Between the silence of death and the joy of the resurrection, there is this moment when God takes all the place, when God arises, rests, and when I arise in him. To come out of our dead, we may need to take the time to rest in God, in silence, in peace of heart, in prayer… a Sabbath time to let the word of God reach us and grow in us. .

“He is risen, he is not here”

Mary of Magdala, Mary and Salome enter the tomb and are greeted by a young man dressed in white. Is it a man, is it an angel? Mark does not say so. He is seated on the right side, the good side, the divine place and we can immediately understand that he is a divine messenger.

In any case, it is he who gives meaning to the event. The rolled stone and the absence of a body in the grave mean nothing in themselves: the body could have been moved! The spoken words will not explain the event, but give meaning to the void in the tomb.

The first words of this young man aim to reassure women who are frightened: ” do not be frightened”. For them, the vision of a divine messenger immediately translates into fear, a reflex from the First Testament and still Judaism of the time.
For us, these words sum up the paschal faith: Do not be afraid! don’t be afraid of life and death, don’t be afraid of God and your neighbour, don’t be afraid of yourself… Live your life… And maybe a good way to to welcome the message of the resurrection is to question oneself about one’s fears, to visit them in one’s prayer and to oppose them with the great announcement: “Christ is risen!”

This divine messenger then announces the resurrection of Jesus. And the Gospel of Mark does not describe it, it is content to announce the resurrection and speaks of an empty tomb and therefore of an absence there.
“He is risen” It is God who resurrects Jesus, and to proclaim the resurrection is to recognize, as on Shabbat, the creative work of God who makes life spring up where man only expects the death

“He’s not here”

Jesus did not allow himself to be imprisoned by the grave and death. He will never be a prisoner of our rites, our liturgies, our theologies, our fears and our beliefs. He is alive and life never allows itself to be contained.

And this is another wonderful news for us Christians. The tomb is empty and we have nothing to erect in statue, nothing to possess, nothing to remember, nothing to idolize… Jesus cannot be reduced to an idol. He left the tomb empty and a hollow in each of us, a place of expectation, of desire, of hope… of prayer, this hollow in which we can receive a word from God provided we keep our hands and heart open, waiting and ready to give Our faith rests on a hollow, like a womb, which can receive and which can give… Our faith rests on a word and the experience that we are called to live, that is to put on our lips the creed of the young manJesus of Nazareth who was crucified has risen.”

The tomb is empty and Jesus is the Living…

“He’s not here” .. but then where is he?

“Go and tell his disciples that he is going before you to Galilee…” Galilee is where it all began. It is the land of the apostles, the land of their childhood, of their childhood, of their encounter with Jesus. The return to Galilee announces a resurrection that does not take place outside of our history, but fully in the history of our lives, in what we are deep within us… It is today, in our Galilee, in our everyday life that we are called to rise. The resurrection does not mean that our world is no longer inhabited by the forces of death. Our lives are marked by mourning, suffering, trials… Resurrection means that the reality of darkness need not and cannot prevent us from overcoming our fear, becoming what you are, and living as resurrected people in our Galilee.

May we be, like Mary of Magdala, Mary mother of James and Salome, overwhelmed by this incredible and wonderful news of the resurrection.

May we move forward despite fear, silence, incomprehension on the new paths of our Galilee with the confident faith that the Living One precedes us and awaits us there.


Andrée Endinger’s sermon for Easter

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