The most stupendous event in the history of the cosmos - the most terrible wonder in the elapse of time betwen the initial and final big bangs - is never actually described. The Lord's Resurrection is, as it were, wrapped in veils. Jesus burial may be described; lightning and earthquakes may be mentioned; women and men meet the mysterious stranger in the garden or on the road to Emmaus; but no television camera, no recording historical pen, no purported eyewitness, intrudes into the darkness and mystery of that cave-tomb. No Gospel writer claims to discern a tremor beneath the winding-cloth, no chronicler pretends to be able to describe the aweful countenance of the One who was dead and en atomo, in a moment, is alive. It is as if to do so would mar the unimaginable wonder and terror of such a ... did I call it an 'event'? I think that was a category error: what we are talking about is not in any cataphatic word-bag. No, for the Gospel writers it is as if even to try to imagine it is an unspeakable vulgarity. And the Church's liturgy is marked by the same awed reticence: in the Song of the Candle which we heard last night, the deacon exclaimed with fearful wonder: 'O Night truly blessed, who alone wast worthy to know the time and the hour'.
The greater the miracle and the greater the wonder, then the more need for a veil to shield our eyes. S Thomas Aquinas, perhaps the greatest Christian thinker since S Paul, described what Christ did at the Last Supper as 'the mightiest miracle that he ever worked during his life on earth'. That same miracle is repeated every time that Mass is offered; at every Eucharist the stone is rolled from the darkness of the tomb; when the words of consecration 'This is my Body' are uttered, the Easter Lord who was dead and is alive emerges from eternity and comes among us; and the veil which prevents us from being consumed by such a wonder is the forms of bread and wine. The naked brightness of the divine reality would be too much for such as now we are. But as we kneel at the altar, every Eucharist is Easter and the Lord is the risen and invincible one and he whispers to each of us, as he whispered to Mary in the garden, the Name he has given us; and for a moment the veils become very thin, and he walks through every locked door into the upper room of each one of us.