I suppose that I’m about six days early with this post, but a talk to which I was listening in the car this morning inspired me to write.
The subject was “the eighth day,” that is, the day of the resurrection of Jesus. God began creation on the first day of the week (Sunday) and rested on the seventh day (Saturday). Christ’s exit from the tomb signaled a new creation or renewed creation and thus was dubbed “the eighth day” by the early Fathers of the Church (and why Christians’ sabbath is on Sunday).
The connection between the first day we read about in Genesis (1:3-5) and the resurrection of the Lord (see Mt 28:1-10, Mk 16;1-8, Lk 24:1-12, Jn 20:1-10) jumped out at me like a flash, so to speak. Matthew tells us an angel whose appearance “was like lightning” rolled back the stone of the tomb (28:2-3). Luke tells us of two men in “dazzling garments” announced that Jesus was alive (24:4). And who doesn’t imagine the scene when Jesus rose as one in which His visage was very much like that which amazed the apostles during the Transfiguration (see Mt 17:1–9, Mk 9:2-8, Lk 9:28–36)?
But, to make this connection, we need go no further than Jesus’ own words: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12). This same Jesus is the Word of God (see Jn 1:1-5) who effected creation at the beginning of time. On the first Easter He effected a new creation by conquering death. In doing so He calls us to reflect that light to others: “You are the light of the world…your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Mt 5:14, 16).
May the coming Easter season see a renewal of that light and may it start with each and every one of us.