Rolling back the stone

He walked on water. He healed many people of blindness, leprosy and deafness. Not only did He heal some close to death, but raised several from the dead. And His last act of healing was to take all the sins: past, present and future, on His shoulders and die. He conquered from the cross.

Jesus’ resurrection is a mystery, not so much that He was able to come back to life, but the amazing salvation that it brings. It’s amazing to me, that in preparation for the future, Jesus established the sacrament of the Eucharist the night before He died. After the 40 days of Lent with a focus on repentance, Holy Thursday Mass provides a refreshing celebration before the solemn liturgy of Good Friday is observed. Christ is taking care of us, knowing that after 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we need a reprieve so that we have the spiritual strength to reflect on His passion.

I’ve heard in more than one homily inviting us to journey through the passion and death of Jesus at a personal level: He died for me and my sins. I know in order for Jesus to rise from the dead, He needs to die, but it is hard to participate in the gospel reading saying, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Every time I sin, in thought, word and deed, it’s like I’m saying that to Jesus, but I don’t think of it in the moment. It’s not until I say that as part of the liturgy that I realize what my sin has cost.

But the end of the story is not the death of Jesus to pay for our sins. He rises from the grave on Easter Sunday, rolling the stone away and casting the burial cloths aside. He gives new life to us and the opportunity to come close to Him; to love Him like He loves us. In this Easter season, let us roll back the stone of sin from our hearts and let the risen Jesus in to heal us so we can more fully live in His love.

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