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easter

The Tomb is Empty

By Deacon Keith Fournier
Guest Writer

CBN.com"On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb." Luke 24

The tomb is empty.

Death could not contain the One who poured Himself out in Love. The light floods the once dark cave and fills the entire world with hope. The debt has been paid, the last enemy death has been defeated, hell has been conquered, the captives have been liberated, love has triumphed and heavens gates have been opened wide. He is Alive and all those who stand at the Altar of the Cross, believing in His promise, shall live forever in Him.

The tomb is empty.

There is a glorified Resurrected Savior, now seated at the right hand of the Father, holding the place He has prepared for each of us. His wounds are glorified now, beautiful, streaming the light of grace upon an earth being born, revealing the depth of His love and the Hope that springs eternal. Through taking on our very humanity, He did for us what we could never have done for ourselves. He "who knew no sin" walked in the perfect obedience of the Son and bridged the gap between the Father and the sons and daughters who had rejected His invitation to communion, through the offering of His own Body on the altar of the Cross. And now, He lives no more to die!

The tomb is empty.

Through His passion, His obedience unto death, and His Resurrection, He welcomes us into the very inner life of the Trinity. In Him we make our home in God. In His sacred humanity He transforms the entire human experience. He invites us to live differently and shows us the path to peace, this way of the fullness of life now and eternal glory in the new world to come. The veil of the tabernacle has been torn. His flesh has become the bridge between heaven and earth. He has opened eternity to all who were bound by the chains of time. He has clothed in glorious freedom those once wrapped in the grave clothes of death. He has given eternal purpose to the sheep who had wandered aimlessly in empty self pursuits.

The tomb is empty.

The whole world, created through Him, is now re-created in Him. We see our lives differently as we open ourselves to His Spirit and allow Him to replace our finite vision with the eyes of eternal perspective. Our feet become shod with the hope of the Good News as we walk the journey of faith, following in His train. His redemptive mission continues through us to a world waiting to be born. He walks through time in His Body on earth, His church; the world reconciled. He invites all men and women to follow Him. For these who are born again through the waters of Baptism, every tomorrow is filled with hope.

The tomb is empty

We find the purpose of eternity revealed in the temporal realities of every today. The real "stuff" of our mundane daily lives becomes the ingredients of our own sanctification; the materials out of which the new creation is fashioned anew around us. The materials have not changed; we have, because He lives now in us. There is nothing we face alone, no tomorrow that is not redeemed and made new in the timeless One, who, out of endless, eternal, unquenchable love, came into time to redeem and transform it.

The tomb is empty

Life for a Christian is not circular but linear. It is always moving forward to fulfillment in Him. There is a beginning - and an end - which is but a new beginning in the One who is Himself both the Beginning and the End. Time unfolds into eternity in Him who has entered time and transformed it by His life, death and Resurrection. That Glorious Day, the first day of the new creation, that Day that the early Christians called the "Eighth Day"; is now upon us. It is the portal to eternity. He is the firstborn, the first-fruits of a new creation and is making all things new now, within us and around us.

The tomb is empty.

The ground upon which He breathed and formed our first brother Adam, the ground upon which He walked and into which they placed His sacred, lifeless Body, has opened wide. It could not contain Him. He Rose victorious from the dead! "Be not afraid" He now cries out causing the stones to burst forth in our own lives. "Be gone" He commands as he shines the light that dispels all the darkness! "Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. (Hebrews 2:14-15)".

The tomb is empty!

Faith reigns. Death dies, dealt a fatal blow at the hands of the Warrior of love. Through sin, death came into the world, and now through the Sinless One it has been vanquished. No longer an enemy it is a friend, an ally, to those who live their lives in the One who has been raised. No longer an end, it becomes a new beginning for all who hide their lives in His wounded side and live their lives forever joined to Him. Nothing can separate us from that Love incarnated in the Crucified, Risen Son of the True and Living God.

The tomb is empty

When we embrace the implications of that empty tomb we begin to live in eternity, even now. We understand that He holds the future - our future and the future of this whole world that He still loves- in those wounded, glorified hands. The events that we remembered and celebrated during these Holy Days provide a lens, a "hermeneutic" of meaning for everything that happens in our daily lives. Even suffering and loss have beauty and irreplaceable value - redemptive, life transforming value- when we choose to follow the One who has been raised. The world is bathed in the newness of Easter.

The tomb is empty.

Alleluia!

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Keith FournierDeacon Keith Fournier is a member of the Catholic Clergy of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, currently serving at Saint Benedict Catholic Church and teaching at the Parish School. He is a student, working on his Ph.D. in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America. He holds a degree in Philosophy and Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville (B.A.), a graduate degree in the theology of Marriage and family from the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (M.T.S.) and a Doctor of Law Degree (J.D.) from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Attorney Fournier is a constitutional lawyer and practiced for twenty seven years. He is the author of eight books. He and his wife Laurine have been married for thirty one years. They have five children and two grandchildren.

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