Easter - Year A
A LITTLE YEAST
In bible times, people made their own yeast (leaven or "sour dough") for bread. Since it took several days to grow the yeast plant, they always saved a starter batch. This "seed" hastened the process. After a wet winter the yeast might go bad--develop mold spores. Middle East women made a rule of throwing out the old yeast in the Spring to prevent this decay. The custom was eventually connected with Passover, when unleavened (yeastless) bread was baked until the new yeast could be grown.
Paul suggests that Christians should periodically throw out old ways of thinking. Thus we can view the message of the Resurrection from a renewed point of view.
THEY HAVE TAKEN JESUS OUT OF THE TOMB
Grave robbery has been a practice since ancient times. Sometimes the robbers were only interested in looting items buried with the dead. Later they might steal bodies for medical research. In the time of Jesus, Romans believed that the nails used to crucify a man could be "lucky" keepsakes.
Mary of Magdala may have thought that thieves had taken the body of Christ. She pleads with Peter and John to inspect the sepulchre and search for the body. Later she returns and meets the risen Jesus. She will know that his body was not taken. It was transformed and glorified.
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