For fifty days the Church now celebrates the glorious feast and fact of the resurrection. Over this period we celebrate the meaning of the resurrection for Jesus and for us. We are not simply recalling a past event but a present reality. The resurrection of Jesus is our promise of resurrection too, and his life is the life we live now in and through the life of the Church.
One of the facts that must strike even the most casual readers of the gospel is how the disciples are transformed. At the crucifixion they had shown themselves to be cowards. Even after the resurrection is announced to them by the women who arrive at the tomb they are still far from belief. But the encounter with the risen Jesus changes them once and for all. They boldly proclaim the resurrection. They travel through all sorts of dangers to share their conviction. And the vast majority of them are prepared to face death rather than deny what they know. In fact they can face death confidently because they now know that Jesus is alive.
We must pray that the same confidence and joy will return to the Church in our own time. We needn’t cower behind closed doors, we can go out and tell the world what we know – ‘He is risen.’ Many will dismiss us, many will oppose us, but many will others will hear and be saved.