for Sunday, April 1, 2018
Christ is risen! Incredible! Christ died for us, but Christ is risen and now lives for us! The followers of Jesus were devastated by His death because they had believed that He was the Messiah. They saw Him die such a humiliating and painful death and most could no longer believe in Him because His death seemed to deny all that they had believed.
His Resurrection changed everything. It was as if they were now able to understand more of what He had said and preached. His mysterious words now seemed prophetic and made sense. Christ is risen! That statement changed the whole reality of faith for His followers.
The first reading today is from the Acts of the Apostles, the witness of Saint Luke. This witness explains how the followers felt, how they seemed to lose all hope and only with the Resurrection were they able to understand to some extent the wonderful works of God. The Resurrection transformed this band of followers into a group of people totally committed to proclaiming that Jesus is the Lord, even if everyone else doubted them or even made fun of them. They could now understand the Law and the Prophets and the Wisdom literature of their ancestors in the faith and see that all of that pointed to Jesus as Lord. Alleluia!
The second reading today is from the Letter to the Colossians. This is the witness of Saint Paul. We must die with Christ so that we too can be raised with Christ. This whole life now, for us as followers of Jesus, is the process of dying to ourselves and living more and more in Jesus. We are invited to proclaim Jesus as Lord by our own dying to self and living in Him. Alleluia!
The Gospel today is from Saint John. This is the witness of Saint John. The men who were followers of Jesus were totally undone by His death and sort of stuck together, bemoaning the death of Jesus, but not doing much more. Instead, the women went to the tomb and found it empty. The women then return and tell the men, who run to the tomb - believing that the body of Jesus had been stolen. They did not yet believe in the Resurrection.
John gets to the tomb first but does not go in. Instead he waits for Peter to go in. They both see the same thing: "the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place." Peter does not yet believe but John believes. John tells us in this Gospel: "they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead."
Slowly, ever so slowly, the followers begin to receive reports that Jesus is alive and speaking with various followers and that these followers begin to believe that it is really Jesus, now risen from the dead. Alleluia!
And you? And me? Do we believe? Alleluia! Christ is risen from the dead! He tramples down death by death! He gives life to those in the tomb! He speaks to His followers! He eats with them! Alleluia. Let us rejoice in the Lord!
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: