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When my niece and nephew were still small, I delighted in pulling surprises for them. It made me happy to see their round eyes, gaping faces and their excited shout of “Wow!”  Not only was I satisfied that I made their day.  I’m sure they too loved every playful and generous gesture from their uncle.  What person does not enjoy a good surprise from time to time?
On a Friday afternoon, people saw an innocent Man dying on the cross.  His disciples scattered in fear trying to save their skins.  His mother and dear friend were forced to behold him shed the last drop of his blood.  His followers felt their world crashing all around them, their hopes dashed, their future uncertain.  On Saturday, the world stood still, with everyone tired and disappointed. Everywhere was sadness.
Then God pulled the biggest surprise of all.  Jesus who lay dead on the sepulcher floor rose triumphantly from death to new and eternal life.  The disciples heard the most amazing story of all – their Master was true to his word and that he truly was powerful! His mother and dear disciple now regained all strength.  His followers, at first incredulous, now have a message to hold on to and to proclaim. Saturday was not a dead-end but a tunnel leading to the brilliant light of the next day, the day of the Lord. No more sadness but cries of Alleluia, heard from earth to heaven!
Today is the day of the greatest surprise, the day when death has been broken, when life flourished and the glory of the Lord shone on the whole world. Jesus is alive and that means God is seriously in love with his people.  This means that the cross, which is our means of following the Lord, is now transformed and made into a life-giving symbol of faith.  This means that Jesus is alive and forever stays with us to accompany us in achieving what he himself has attained.  Jesus has the power over life, gives life, and renews all life.
The Resurrection of Jesus is the biggest surprise in history, restoring hope to every man and woman who struggles with their experiences of the daily crosses they have to bear.  This mean that you and I are filled with the hope that God is forever on our side.  Like children we say “wow!” to what we witness and believe in.  Jesus’ experience of the cross is not our only link with him.  Jesus’ resurrection is an even greater connection we have with God’s Only Son.
Just as Good Friday was full of stories, so too Easter Sunday must be full of stories. Today we recall the story of how we conquered our fears.  Today we remember how God healed our wounds.  Today we retell how we reconciled with estranged loved ones. today we reminisce how we surrendered our sins and gained freedom.  We tell many stories of how God surprised us and continues to do so when we feel that we have reached the end.
Let us thank the Lord on this beautiful Easter day, the day of greatest surprise, the day when we marvel at how much we are loved by God!  Happy Easter to each and everyone!