The Gate is Unbarred

From “Homily for After Easter” (ca. 735)

The fact that the women came to the tomb very early in the morning in order to seek the Lord proves the grate devotedness of their love for him. In order to pay him service, as soon as the shadows of night had withdrawn and the ability to go to the tomb was given them with the appearance of light, they strove to hurry there. But they also present us with a typological example: if we desire to find the Lord, and to be strengthened by the presence of angels, we should cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, and we should walk honorably as in the day, Rom. 13:12-13…

Our spices are our voices in prayer, in which we set forth before the Lord the desires of our hearts… If the women sought the Lord’s dead body with such great care, how much more appropriate is it for us to stand with all due reverence before his sight as we celebrate his mysteries, since we recognize that he has risen from death, that he has ascended into heaven, and that the power of his divine majesty is present everywhere…

“The women coming back from the tomb told the apostles what they had seen and heard from the angels.” This act of divine benevolence we recognize is part of the divinely arranged plan whereby the opprobrium of the transgression of our first parents might be removed… One woman [i.e. Eve], coming out of the garden, opened a path away from heavenly joys; now many women come and give the information that the gate is unbarred.”

The Venerable Bede (ca. 673-735) was an English monk, teacher, and scholar, one of the most influential figures of the early Middle Ages. He was famed in his lifetime for his Biblical commentaries, and is best known today for his great history of the English church and people. His feast day is May 25. This translation is from Lawrence Martin and David Hurst, Bede the Venerable: Homilies on the Gospels (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1991).

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