The Sacred Triduum– A Feast like No Other
Notes on the Gospel—–Mark ch. 16, vv. 1—8
“Sabbath was over:” The women could do nothing on the Sabbath—Saturday.
“First Day of the week “ : In Genesis , Sunday is the day of creation; the day God created by his Word; the day the Spirit hovered over the waters and life began. Already in the first verse of Genesis we have the Blessed Trinity active in creation. On the first day of the week after the Sabbath ( notice how Jesus in the tomb rested on the Sabbath ) the Blessed Trinity is active again.
”Sun was rising “ It was on the first day in Genesis that light was created . Now on the first day of the Resurrection the new light of dawn shines on the women.
“Tomb “ In this short passage the word “tomb “ is used 4 times.
“ Struck with amazement “ The women are in a state of confusion—the disciples had not understood the scriptures about Jesus rising from the dead.
“ No need for alarm “ Words of reassurance—it always is the first message that angels give to men and women—do not be afraid.
“Jesus of Nazareth-crucified; risen; he is not here “ The angel in the tomb sums up the entire achievement of Christ
“Tell the disciples and Peter “ Reconciliation and forgiveness. In Mark the last we heard of the disciples— they were running in panic from the garden; and the last we heard of Peter he was denying the Lord three times.
“ The women run away terrified “ The empty tomb leaves them frightened out of their wits. As Mark tells the story, understanding and faith have still to come.
2nd reading St Paul in Romans ch. 6 vv 3-11—Baptism as Death / Resurrection
“When we were baptised, we were baptised into his death” The ancient way of baptising was immersion in water—a strong symbol of death. Coming out of the water –a strong symbol of new life.
”As Christ was raised from death, we might live a new life “ We join Christ in death by baptism, then we join him in the new life of Baptism and resurrection.
“You must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus “ As far as Paul is concerned, we are already living the life of the resurrection. It is the teaching of sacred scripture that the only way to the Resurrection is to die in union with the death of Christ. And the sacrament of Baptism, strengthened and nourished by the other sacraments , is the link both to his crucifixion and resurrection.
The Catechism of the Church teaches : “ Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning — “ for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain “ What is essentially new about Christian death is this: through Baptism the Christian has already died with Christ sacramentally, in order to live a new life, and if we die in God’s grace, physical death completes this “ dying with Christ “ and so completes our incorporation into him in his redeeming act.” ( Catechism: para 1010 )
The graces of Baptism are not just to live a holy life in this world, but at the end of the day, they point to that final hour when you are really united with Christ crucified in your own death, which will then ( God -willing ) be the prelude to your own resurrection
That means, according to the Catechism, your Baptism finds its completion and fulfilment when you die . What a wonderful consolation as we face death –the completion of the Sacrament of Baptism.
This is why Easter, the mystery of the life , death, and resurrection of Christ, linked with the Sacrament of our own Baptism, is called the Feast of Feasts