Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 12 A..D. 2009
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 I Corinthians 5:6b-8
John 20:1-9 or Mark 16:1-7
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Easter is the most joyful feast of the entire Church year, but like all feasts, it requires careful preparation if we are to have a good celebration.
Hopefully, we have made good use of the opportunities offered during Lent. If we really "got into" prayerful reflection on Scripture, fasting and almsgiving for the needy, and real effort to loving closeness with Jesus, then our Easter joy is going to last longer than one day.
During this past week, if the events of Holy Thursday and Good Friday really hit home to us, then we'll understand the stunning shock the followers of Jesus experienced at the empty tomb. In all four Gospels, it is Mary Magdalene who is the first to whom Jesus appeared -- although tradition believes He appeared first to His mother -- Mary Magdalene rushed back to tell the apostles in the upper room and met with resistance. They just weren't ready to understand that Jesus had to rise from the dead. John and Peter went to the tomb. John believed, but Peter still had doubts.
The first reading on Easter is from a later sermon of St. Peter that forms the basis for the beliefs of the early Christians. In the time that elapsed from Peter's seeing the empty tomb and that sermon, Peter had much time to think and pray. Like the others, his faith was transformed by the Pentecost experience of the Holy Spirit. No wonder this reading conveys a deep and enthusiastic faith that Jesus was really alive.
Not only Peter and the Apostles, but each one of us is called on to be transformed in our hearts through the rising of Jesus from the dead. We have the advantage of hearing the testimony through the centuries of "a cloud of witnesses." The second reading of Paul to the Corinthians urges this early Church to cast out the leaven of sin and to become a "new batch of dough."
It will take a lifetime for most people to grasp fully what effect Jesus' resurrection from the dead means to us personally. Each year, we have the chance to come closer to the truth. One day is not enough. In a sense, the season after Easter is even more important than Lent. These are the days when the apostles grew in faith, conviction, and courage to tell the whole world what had happened. They couldn't do it without the Holy Spirit, and neither can we.
For us, the Sacrament of Confirmation has already brought us the Spirit of Jesus. We must call on His gifts of wisdom and understanding to keep us from letting go of Easter. If we do, we'll know what to do with Easter, and our joy will be full!
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, April 12, 2009
Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord
The Mass of Easter Day
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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