April 4 Easter Sunday Morning Year C
Readings: Acts 10:34-43; Col. 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9
It was Easter Sunday morning and a man was coming out of the Church after Easter Sunday Mass. The pastor was standing at the door as he always does to shake hands. He grabbed the man by the hand and pulled him aside. The Pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!" The man replied, "Father I'm already in the Army of the Lord." Then the pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?" He whispered back, "Father, I'm in the secret service!” If you are in the secret service, we need you. You may have talents we can use in the parish. One cannot separate Easter Vigil from Easter Sunday because what we celebrate this morning is the mystery proclaimed at the Easter Vigil and it is important to see the two moments as continuous. Easter Vigil recalls and re-enacts the mystery of God's salvation for us in the resurrection of Christ. Easter Sunday is not only concerned with recalling the resurrection of Jesus and its impact on the first disciples, but also with the meaning of this event for our own lives and for our faith. Easter Sunday highlights not only our faith in the resurrection, but we also joyfully proclaim and witness to what we believe. St. Augustine in the 5th century said, “We are an Easter people and alleluia is our song!” Yes, the resurrection is the centerpiece of our Catholic faith. This is what we celebrate this morning.
In the first reading, Peter speaks about his own experience and shares that experience with the listening crowds. It is quite clear from his experience of knowing with utter conviction that Jesus, who died on the Cross, is now alive. Peter is so filled with the joy of it that he simply must share that same joy with others – so that it can be theirs, too. Similarly the experience of the resurrection by Paul leads him to advice that we keep focused on the risen Christ, since Christ is our life. For Paul, we know that that experience brought a total revolution in his life, and gave him a total new vision of things and especially of the meaning of Jesus' life and message. In the Gospel, we have the experience of the empty tomb as a sign of Jesus' resurrection. This first day of the week is full of emotions and commotion. The discovery of the empty tomb by Mary of Magdala leads to her running back to tell Peter and John that the Lord's body is not in the tomb. That experience may have been very disappointing, but it was also a clear message that Christ is risen as he had said. John, who writes the Gospel, tells us that he entered into the empty tomb, “he saw and he believed”. That experience strengthened the faith of the disciples in the resurrection, and completely transformed their lives. Renewed in their conviction, they were moved to witness to the mystery of the resurrection. The message we take home on this Easter day is twofold: 1) May we too like the disciples are moved to proclaim the resurrection of Christ in our lives; 2) May the Lord give us the grace that we may live as as an Easter people, deeply touched by our faith in the resurrection, as we proclaim that “Christ in risen indeed, alleluia”.
©2010 John S. Mbinda