Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ is Risen - Indeed He is Risen!

"Alleluia! Christ is truly risen! We can make absolutely no qualification of this fact whatever. Christ has really, truly, and substantially risen, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, from the dead. The whole Christ has risen indeed for the completion of the work of our redemption.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas

Gospel text (Jn 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.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.

Today, «is the day when the Lord has acted», as we shall be singing throughout Easter time. As this is the expression of Psalm 117 that fills out the celebration of our Christian faith. The Father has resurrected Jesus Christ, His beloved Son, whom He indulges in because He has loved to the point of giving his life for all of us.

Let us live this Easter with plenty of joy. Christ has risen: so let us celebrate it full of joy and love. Death, sin and sadness, have today been defeated by Jesus Christ... and He has opened the doors to a new life, the real life, the life we owe to the grace of the Holy Spirit. Nobody should be sad. Christ is our Peace and our Path forever and ever. Today, He «fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear» (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes 22).

The great sign the Gospel gives us today is that Jesus' tomb is empty. We have to look no more among the dead for He who is alive has risen. And his disciples, that later on will see him risen, that is, will experience him alive in a wonderful meeting in faith, also realize his tomb is empty. An empty tomb and apparitions will be the great signs for the believer's faith. The Gospel says that «finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed» (Jn 20:8). Through his faith he realizes that the emptiness and the linen cloths lying flat and the napkin rolled up in its place, were all signs God had been there, signs of the new life. Love can see signals where others cannot and small signs may suffice. «The other disciple whom Jesus loved» (Jn 20:2) was led by the love he had received from Christ.

The “seeing and believing” of the disciples must also be our aim. We renew our paschal faith. That Christ be our Lord in everything we do. Let his Life revitalize ours and let us renew the grace of the baptism we have received. Let us become his apostles and disciples. Let us be guided by love and announce to all our happiness to believe in Christ. Let us be hopeful witnesses of his Resurrection.

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