Earthquakes, fortunately mostly just small ones, were regular occurrences in California where I lived for 15 years. Matthew’s Gospel uses earthquakes like exclamation points! When Jesus dies, the earth quaked, rocks were split… (27:51). In our Easter Gospel, when the women approach the tomb to look for Jesus’ body, there was a great earthquake… (28:2). This dramatic earthquake emphasis is trying to tell us that the whole world has changed. Expectation of death has been shattered and destroyed. Something radically new is here. In the first decades and eras of Christianity, Scripture writers and other teachers talked about how even those who lived before the time of Jesus were affected by the events of Jesus. Great figures like Abraham foreshadowed him; the writings of Hebrew Scripture patterned him as suffering servant; the “saints” who died before him were freed from their tombs at his death (27:52). Throughout this coming Easter season we will see the followers of Jesus trying to wrap their minds around the newness of the Jesus event. Pope Francis wants us today to awaken to deeper appreciation of this newness, to appreciation of how joy and hope abound in our world now because of Jesus, and to appreciation of our own call to proclaim his death and resurrection with our lives. Stand outside today, even if just for a few minutes, and appreciate the ever-new sunshine. Ponder all that is new because of faith in resurrection.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia