The Angel Sitting on the Stone

A very blessed Easter to you all!

My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the Easter Vigil at St. Clement parish on the North side of Chicago. It was a beautiful and moving experience. It was doubly special because a friend and co-worker was being received into the Catholic Church that night.

Fr. Ken Simpson, the pastor, gave an excellent homily. He spoke about what he called “the angel with an attitude” from the Gospel of Matthew (28:1-10) who rolled back the stone and then sat on it. He emphatically made the point that the angel did not roll back the stone to allow Jesus to “escape” the tomb. Rather, the angel rolled back the stone to allow the women to see that there was nothing there for them to see…that Jesus was not to be found there. Instead, the angel tells them to go quickly and tell the others and then to find Jesus in Galilee.

I couldn’t help but think that all of us catechists can look to this “angel with an attitude” for inspiration. Our job is to roll back the stones on the various tombs in which our young people think they will find life. Perched atop the stones of these tombs, we warn them away and instead send them in the direction in which they will encounter the Risen Christ.

May the joy of this Easter season give all of us an attitude of confidence so that we can tell our young people to not fear, to turn away from places of darkness and emptiness, and to go quickly to those places where they will find new life in the Risen Christ!

Amen, Alleluia!!!

About Joe Paprocki 2739 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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