Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 4 A..D. 2010
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 Luke 24:1-12, or Luke 24:13-35
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The first Easter came as a total shock to those who had loved and followed Jesus through His public ministry. They knew Him to be a totally good and holy Man, with wonderful teachings about the goodness of their Father who had created them in love, a merciful and forgiving God, who wanted only their faith and obedience. They had seen Jesus as a mirror of the Father in His compassion for the sick and the deformed, and for those troubled in spirit and body. And now He was dead! How could their own religious leaders have conspired with the Romans to torture and kill Him?! How could they?!
If His followers had slept at all since His arrest, it must have been a troubled sleep, filled with nightmares and darkness. And now, early this Sunday morning, an hysterical Mary Magdalene pounded on their door, trying to convince them that she had seen Jesus alive! Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. Could it be true? From that first Easter to this year's celebration, the shock of these events even today shakes us into the truth of God's incredible love for us in sending us His Son so that all might be cleansed from the divine displeasure. And so we struggle to absorb it once more. Malicious evil had done its worst to the sacred body of God's Son. Then, before dawn on Sunday, Christ had broken through the rock, shattered the power of sin, and, according to tradition, appeared first to His Mother, then to Mary Magdalene and the other women and the apostles.
In the Mass for Easter day, the first reading is taken from the very words of an early sermon of St. Peter. What a change from Peter who denied he ever knew "the man!" He came fresh from the fiery tongues of Pentecost, still in shock at the dream he had on the way to Cornelius' house. So much had changed forever! No food would ever again be considered unclean. Peter is now free to preach to Gentiles the Good News of God's forgiveness. Peter and the others are commanded to baptize any who will believe in the Christ. Thus the word spreads through the whole countryside and beyond. Resurrection is the hope of every living person. No wonder they preached with such courage and enthusiasm!
They preached about a God who cared first for people who were poor and powerless, a God whose love governed all His relationships. Through the Holy Spirit, we could now live by the power of the Resurrection, and share it with others. The Scripture readings during these fifty days between Easter and Pentecost are among the most exciting in the Church year. We surrender to "Alleluias" and joyful shouts of "Christ has risen!" and then settle in for a new time of reflection on our own program for resurrection in these very troubled times. After all, it is our mission to bring new life and hope to a needy world.
As followers of the Risen Christ, the time has come for more of us to turn our Savior's resurrection into a personal renewal that will influence the social and political sphere of our beloved nation. That first Easter changed the ancient world, and Easter 2010 could do much through us to change our own troubled world. We need to continue what Lent has done for our understanding and involvement in the teachings and plans for action of our Church. As He has always been, Christ is our only hope! Alleluia!
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, April 4, 2010
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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