Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:6
Let’s start today’s reflection in the words of J. Escriva: “Jesus, who died on the cross, has risen. He has triumphed over death; He has overcome sorrow, anguish and the power of darkness… In Him we find everything. Outside of Him our life is empty.”
Dear friends in Christ, today the universal church celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, popularly known as Easter. This is the “Feast of Feasts,” the “Solemnity of Solemnities,” the “highest Feast of the Church,” the “holiest day of the year.” St. Paul says, “If Christ had not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (1 Cor.15:14) There is an amazing story about today. What is the story? you may ask. The amazing story goes thus: There was a man, a carpenter, who lived over, 2,000 years ago, in an obscure Roman province in a town called Nazareth. At age 30, the man hung up his leather carpenter’s apron and began to speak publicly up and down the countryside. Religious leaders were ambivalent at best. Most felt deeply threatened, because this ex-carpenter taught in huge outdoor meetings with compelling authority, and He healed people, not just of their colds and fevers, but crippled limbs and blind eyes were healed. He even raised the dead to life. The religious leaders saw their orderly world spinning out of their control. And so, they determined to eliminate the man. They infiltrated His inner circle so that they could grab Him away from public view. And once in custody, they engineered a trial behind closed doors, and then put huge political pressure on the Roman governor to execute Him immediately. But there’s more. The Man did not resist His arrest and crucifixion; in fact, He had predicted it to his followers again and again. And He taught that His death would have incredible meaning, that He would give His life as a ransom for many. That is, His death would pay the ransom price for a multitude of people who were enslaved by their own sins, and set them free. That’s what He said. And on that cross, He prayed for His crucifiers – certainly enslaved in their sins – “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” And He died. A Roman centurion who saw Him die said, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.” He died on a Friday at just about three in the afternoon. Friday night and all day Saturday, his cold body laid there.
But Sunday morning, the Sunday we call Easter, some women who had come to complete the hasty burial found the stone rolled back and the tomb empty. An angel appeared to them saying, “He is not here, He has risen.” This, too, the Man, Jesus, had foretold to His followers. Over the next 40 days, He appeared to His disciples and others, to even 500 at one time. And then He left planet earth promising to return. His Spirit was poured out on His followers a few days later. Within a single generation, His followers travelled with the amazing story to all of the known world. Our world has never remained the same. Because where people believe the story, they found forgiveness and freedom and meaning to life. Easter is the celebration of our redemption, and therefore the celebration of thanksgiving and joy.
MASS: WHITE Acts 10:34a.37-43; Ps 118:1-2.15c-17.22-23(R.24); Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8 Sequence: Victimae Paschalis Laudes; Accl. 1 Cor 5:7b-8a; Jn 20:1-9 or Mt 28:1-10 or Lk 24:13-35 (This is for Afternoon and Evening Mass)
1. Begin your prayer with this worship song:“He is Lord, He is Lord, Amen. He has risen from the dead….”
2. Let the Power of the Resurrection invade every prison-tomb encasing my destiny and uproot my buried glory to shine again in the name of Jesus.
3. Every heavy stone placed against my destiny, preventing the glory of God from manifesting in my life, be rolled away in the name of Jesus.
4. Pray to have the boldness to confront injustice in our world.
Exercise: Visit those in hospitals and prisons with gifts, including copies of DSD.
Meditation: Philippians 3:10