HOMILY FOR EASTER SUNDAY YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: “Mary Magdalene said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’” (John 20:2)
BY: Fr. Robert deLeon, CSC
“The owner of a company, needing to call one of his employees about an urgent problem with one of the computers, dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's near whisper. ‘Hello.’ ‘Is your daddy home?’ asked the man. ‘Yes,’ whispered the small voice. ‘May I talk with him?’ The child whispered, ‘No.’ “Startled by the response yet needing to connect with his employee, the boss next asked, ‘Is your mommy there?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘May I talk with her?’ Again the small voice whispered, ‘No.’
“Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave his urgent message, the boss practically begged, ‘Is anybody else there?’ ‘Yes,’ whispered the child, ‘a policeman.’ “Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss tentatively asked, ‘May I speak with the policeman?’ ‘No, he's busy,’ whispered the child. ‘Busy doing what?’ grumbled the boss. ‘Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the firemen,’ came the whispered reply.
“Growing considerably more concerned as he heard what sounded like a helicopter through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, ‘What is that noise?’ ‘A hello-copper,’ answered the small whispering voice. ‘What is going on there?’ screamed the panic-stricken boss. In an awed whispering voice the child answered, ‘The search team just landed the hello-copper.’
“Confused and frustrated beyond comprehension, the boss asked, ‘What are they searching for?’ “Still whispering, the young child responded in a muffled giggle: ‘ME!’” (Original source unknown) Searching desperately for one who only seems to be missing: that’s the theme of this humorous anecdote; it’s also a theme we encounter on this celebration of the greatest feast of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
On Easter morning, in her futile attempt to locate the body of Jesus, Mary Magdalene left the empty tomb and, encountering Simon Peter and John, she lamented, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” (John 20:2) Of course, we already know well what these disciples don’t— Jesus isn’t missing at all. He’s as present as he was prior to his death, though now changed in appearance.
We, too, sometimes find ourselves searching desperately for the seemingly missing Jesus. Though he has promised to be with us always, in every circumstance of life, in every human encounter, he can seem as hidden from us as was that giggling child from his frantic parents. While we rely on faith alone to buoy us in those trying moments, yet the heart aches for the felt presence of God, some very human assurance that he’s near. And sometimes, in provident response, Jesus emerges from a hidden place, powerful and radiant, leaving us light-headed, almost giddy.
It’s Easter—the tomb is empty and the body is missing. Where is he? You can almost hear his muffled giggle in the silence.