Parish of St Matthew the Apostle,
Douglas, Isle of Man

Father Tom ponders: Words from beyond

If you died and then came back from the dead to speak to your loved ones, what would you want to say?

This is the Easter scene we come across when Jesus has risen from the dead. There are certain things he wants to tie up before leaving this earth and he seeks out his friends. What does he say?

“Why are you crying?” he asks Mary Magdalene. In the face of death, it’s hard not to cry. Yet Jesus wants Mary to know that he has broken the hold that death had over us. The resurrection proclaims an end to tears and sadness, points to a life that dwarfs this earthly one and holds out the promise of everlasting happiness.

“Go and find the brothers” he tells her. He wants his friends to share in the victory over the grave and he is anxious that they should understand the teaching of scripture that he must rise from the dead. Such news is too momentous to be kept to themselves.

“Peace be with you” is his greeting to the disciples on the first Easter day. Our faith in the risen Lord is about experiencing peace at its deepest level. This doesn’t mean that we escape trials and turbulence. But it does mean that deep down we can know we are loved and valued by God our Father and that we can experience a wellbeing that puts all other things in perspective.

“Just as the father sent me so I’m sending you” is the commission he gives all his followers as he calls down the Holy Spirit upon them. Easter faith is missionary; it’s contagious and unable to be held in or tied down. Our Easter joy intensifies the more we share it.

“Doubt no longer but believe” are the words that Thomas heard Jesus speak. It seemed so incredible that Jesus really had risen from the dead. Thomas needed to see it with his own eyes. And so do the people of our world. We are now called to be the Body of Christ, the Church. And the way we live out our faith publicly will determine whether our neighbours believe that Christ is risen or not.

These were Jesus’s words from beyond. What would yours be?

Wishing you all a happy and blessed Easter.