This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Luke 24:34
Glorious Lord of life, by the mighty resurrection of your Son you overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him:
grant that we, who celebrate with joy Christ’s rising from the dead may be raised from the death of sin to the life of righteousness;
through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
- Acts 10:34-43
- Hymn to the Risen Christ
- Colossians 3:1-4
- Matthew 28:1-10
- Next week:
- Acts 2:14a, 22-32
- Psalm 16
- 1 Peter 1:1-12
- John 20:19-31
A Thought to Ponder
Easter Day John 20:1-9
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
John’s Easter Gospel says nothing of earthquakes or angels. His account begins before daybreak. It was believed that the spirit of the deceased hovered around the tomb for three days after burial; Mary Magdalene was therefore following the Jewish custom of visiting the tomb during this three-day period. Discovering that the stone has been moved away, Mary Magdalene runs to tell Peter and the others. Peter and the “other disciple”
race to get there and look inside. Note the different reactions of the three: Mary Magdalene fears that someone has “taken” Jesus’ body; Peter does not know what to make of the news; but the “other” disciple – the model of faithful discernment in John’s Gospel – immediately understands what has taken place. So great are the disciple’s love and depth of faith that all of the strange remarks and dark references of Jesus now become clear to him.
While the Easter mystery does not deny the reality of suffering and pain, it does proclaim reason for hope in the human condition. The empty tomb of Christ trumpets the ultimate Alleluia: that love, compassion, generosity, humility and selflessness will ultimately triumph over hatred, bigotry, prejudice, despair, greed and death. The Easter miracle enables us, even in the most difficult and desperate of times, to live our lives in hopeful certainty of the fulfilment of the resurrection at the end of our life’s journey.
The Risen Christ is present to us in the faithful witness of every faithful follower of Jesus who shares the good news of the empty tomb, who seeks to bring resurrection into this life of ours: to rise above life’s sufferings and
pain to give love and life to others, to renew and re-create our relationships with others, to proclaim the Gospel of the empty tomb.
Today we stand, with Peter and John and Mary, at the entrance of the empty tomb; with them, we wonder what it means. The Christ who challenged us to love one another is risen and walks among us! All that he taught – compassion, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, sincerity, selflessness for the sake of others – is vindicated and affirmed if he is truly risen. The empty tomb should not only console us and elate us, it should challenge us to embrace the life of the Gospel. With Easter faith, we can awaken the promise of the empty tomb in every place and moment we encounter on our journey through this life.
In Matthew’s Easter Gospel, the Risen Jesus instructs the stunned Mary and her companion to “go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” Galilee is the place where Peter and the others were first called, where everything began — to return there means to see everything they experienced in following Jesus in the light of the cross and the empty tomb. Returning to Galilee transforms the horror of the past week into the new, radiant light of Easter — and, in that new light, their lives and ours are forever made new and whole. This Easter, may we make our way back to the Galilees of our life, to meet again God’s Risen One in the reconciling and healing peace of this holy season.
You can read the Pew Sheet here981d9-easter-day-a