for Sunday, March 27, 2016
Christ is risen! This early proclamation of the truth about Jesus astounded the people. You and I are perhaps too accustomed to know that Jesus rose from the dead after he was killed by crucifixion. Yet even today, it is incredible to believe that a man like us was killed, especially by crucifixion, and then rose from the dead, became alive again and was seen by others and touched by others and ate with others. He was truly alive after he was killed! Christ is risen!
The first reading today is from the Acts of the Apostles and gives us the testimony of Saint Peter and ends with a very clear statement of faith: To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.
These early believers, in spite of all of their doubts about and rejections of Jesus finally acknowledge that Jesus is the one chosen by God, that Jesus is the Savior and that, finally, Jesus is God.
The second reading at this Day Mass is from the Letter to the Colossians and begins with this affirmation: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Once again, this is a clear affirmation that the early followers of Jesus has arrived at this clear expression that Jesus is Lord and Savior.
In the Gospel of John today we encounter Mary of Magdala going to the tomb of Jesus, finding it empty, and then running to tell the disciples. Peter and an unidentified disciple, almost certainly John, get to the tomb. Peter goes in and sees that the body is not there. There is no comment about the faith of Peter. The other disciple, probably John, goes in and the Gospel says this: Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
You and I are called to believe and we receive our faith through these early witnesses. This faith must become our own and it must become so powerful that our lives are transformed. We know from the Scriptures that faith may not take away all of our defects or even keep us from all sin, but it does show us the path on which we are to walk: complete trust in the Lord Jesus and a faithful following of His teachings. Christ is risen! Let us walk together with Him into the Kingdom.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Acts 10.34a, 36-43++
Second Reading: Colossians 3.1-4
Gospel: John 20.1-18++
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: