Easter joy

I was five years old when my family moved into our neighborhood.

It was June; and that summer, I began a nightly ritual.

Every evening after dinner, I would sit outside on the front step and wait.

I wanted to catch a glimpse of two little girls who were taking a nightly walk with their dad. One little girl was about five, like me, and her little sister was nearly three. One was a blonde, one was a brunette, and each sported a Dutchboy haircut.

That fall when I started first grade, I spotted the oldest girl in my classroom. She rode on the same bus with me that afternoon, and the bus driver dropped her off about a block from my house.

When I got off the bus I hurried home; and instead of telling my mother about my first day of school, I grabbed her hand and pulled her out the door.

I was filled with joy as we ran down the block towards my new classmate’s home.

When we arrived, my mother knocked on the door and introduced us. Linda became my best friend and my college roommate, and she was the matron of honor at my wedding.

Our meeting was transformational.

The words at the end of the Gospel of Matthew also speak of transformation.

The faithful women are at the tomb when the earth shakes beneath their feet. An angel descends from heaven and rolls back the stone.

He tells the women, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.

“He is not here, for He has been raised just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.”

The angel tells the women to “go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him.’”

The Bible tells us that the women went away quickly from the tomb, “fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to His disciples.”

What holy joy that must have been!

I believe that their walk to the tomb must have been very slow and filled with sobbing.

Within minutes of their arrival, they were each filled with the joy of the Resurrection. And almost immediately, they were running to share the news with the disciples.

They were forever transformed from Good Friday despair to Resurrection joy.

That’s the truth of Easter.