He is risen: He is not here!
The Corpse, laid by the hands of them that loved their Lord, on the slab that lies in that cave, is risen; and, without removing the stone that closed the entrance, has gone forth, quickened with a life which can never die.
No man has helped Him.
No prophet has stood over the dead Body, bidding it return to life.
It is Jesus Himself, and by His own power, that has risen. He suffered death, not from necessity, but because He so willed; and again, because He willed, He has delivered Himself from its bondage.
O Jesus! Thou, that thus mockest death, art the Lord our God! We reverently bend our knees before this empty tomb, which is now forever sacred, because, for a few hours, it was the place of Thy abode. Behold the place where they laid Him!
Behold the winding-sheet and bands, which remain to tell the mystery of Thy having once been dead! The angel says to the women: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified!
The recollection makes us weep. Yes, it was but the day before yesterday that His Body was carried hither, mangled, wounded, bleeding.
Here, in this cave, from which the angel has now rolled back the stone--in this cave, which His presence fills with a more than mid-day brightness--stood the afflicted Mother.
It echoed with the sobs of them that were at the burial, John and the two disciples, Magdalen and her companions.
The sun sank beneath the horizon, and the first day of Jesus' burial began. But the prophet has said: 'In the evening weeping shall have place; and in the morning gladness' (Psalm 29:6).
This glorious, happy morning has come, O Jesus! and great indeed is our gladness at seeing that this same sepulcher, whither we followed Thee with aching hearts, is now but the trophy of Thy victory!
Thy precious wounds are healed! It was we that caused them; permit us to kiss them. Thou art now living, more glorious than ever, and immortal.
And because we are resolved to die to our sins, when Thou wast dying in order to expiate them, Thou willest that we, too, should live eternally with Thee; that Thy victory over death should be ours; that death should be for us, as it were for Thee, a mere passage to immortality, and should one day give back, uninjured and glorified, these bodies which are to be lent for a while to the tomb.
Glory, then, and honor and love, be to Thee, O Jesus! who didst deign not only to die, but to rise again for us!
From The Liturgical Year by Abbot Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.