Beyond the tomb

Moments by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

Easter Sunday 
April 21 2019

The story is told about a family gathered around their dying father, arguing whether he should be cremated or buried and about many other funeral arrangements, when the old man opened his eyes and told them: “Please stop arguing among yourselves. Just surprise me na lang, okay?” And then he closed his eyes forever in peace.

Happy and blessed Easter everyone! In today’s Gospel (John 20, 1-9), we hear about the commotions and mysteries at the tomb of Jesus on that first Easter morning. We must look beyond the tomb and, in faith, focus on the surprises of the resurrection, and we, too, will have peace.

If there is no life after death, if there is no resurrection, then the tomb is the end. Nothing follows. Literally, a dead end! We have different opinions regarding death, but as a Christian, I find so much meaning in life, and hope in death, precisely because of the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen!

On Easter, we renew our baptismal vows. Easter is about rising again, a fresh start and new beginnings in our journey to God’s heart.

I have two friends who are already in the “predeparture area.” One wants to put up a mausoleum for himself with his hard-earned money. The other one wants to put up a foundation for the education of the children of his employees. Well, they are free to use their money as they so desire, but what would you tell them? It seems to me that the former’s concern is the tomb, while the latter’s concern is beyond the tomb.

Fr. Joel Jason shared during our Palm Sunday recollection at the Meralco Theater three thought-provoking and humbling reminders: “You will die, sooner or later”; “You are not that important”; “You are not in control.” Yes, we are an Easter people. We are all just passing by. We must look beyond this life. We must look beyond the tomb. Heaven is our true home.

May we have that joyful Easter feeling the whole year round! How? By learning to delete any negative thought or feeling and offering them up to the Lord asap. Pass the load to the Lord! Let us be joyful. How? Don’t overthink. Learn to overtrust the Lord. Pray: Lord, deliver me from useless worries, fears and anxieties. Jesus, I trust in You! Mama Mary, I love you!

“Surprise us again, Lord!” This is a beautiful prayer that makes Easter become real. Let us not give in to routine, helplessness, hopelessness and depression. Let us constantly believe that our God is a God of surprises, and that He can change seemingly hopeless people and situations, according to His will and in His own time.

“Breakthrough is coming!” This is a beautiful Easter mantra that we must keep on saying and keep on believing. After the rain will come the sun. After the darkness, the light will shine. After the fighting, peace will reign. But, along with the mantra, let us all continue to become instruments of light, peace and joy.


Some of the Moments books of Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

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