Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 16, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Easter is not as “comfortable” a feast as Christmas. We feel much closer to the Infant Jesus than we do to the Glorified Christ! His glorified body does not invite our touching. That stone rolled back can so easily mean that He has vanished from our sight, and we have lost Him! Like Peter we withhold judgment, and like Thomas we have some doubts. Our “alleluias” ring out for the beauty and splendor of what has happened, but too often we let our Easter joy be confined to mere bunnies and Easter eggs!
But the truth of the Resurrection is supposed to transform us. Just as Jesus broke through the rock into the freedom of new life, so this feast is meant to free our souls to the possibilities of sin-free living. Instead of Easter as the conclusion of Lent, it is just the beginning -- challenging us to live a disciplined life, focused on holding firm to habits of prayer and devout living we found so refreshing during these last six weeks. Everything about Jesus’ glorious breakthrough from death has implications for us.
Whatever blocks our narrow vision to holy and creative living can crumble into dust if we only will it. The question is: how close do we want to follow Jesus as a disciple?
The readings for Easter provide a clear record of how the early Church responded to the fact of the Resurrection. In the Gospel passage, Mary Magdalene and John are the only two who give immediate acceptance. When Peter witnesses the empty tomb, his faith lags behind his sight. It will take a few personal appearances of the risen Lord to strengthen it.
The first reading for Easter is from a much later and more mature sermon of Peter’s. In this account, there is firm and unquestioned testimony to this central belief of the Christian faith. And St. Paul, in the second reading, tells the Corinthians that with Christ’s resurrection, they have all died (to sin) and thus, must live lives that are “hidden in God." Obviously, our lives are not hidden from God, but only hidden from worldly esteem. How much does worldly approval really mean to us? If we hold it “in no esteem," then we’re on the road to joy.
Easter should “loosen up” our unwilling tongues to sing, and stir up our energy to live warm, joyful lives. In the words of the Easter Sequence: “Christ indeed from death is arisen, our new life obtaining. Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!"
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(smartins at frontiernet dot net)
Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of the Lord
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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