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Easter Sunday – The Resurrection

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Jesus is risen from the dead, alleluia alleluia!

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

It is a joyous occasion. We often think of Christmas being a joyous occasion and rightfully so. However, Easter has a more significant joy to it and is the most important day for Catholics. As a matter of fact, every Sunday Mass is a commeration of Easter Sunday.  Babies are born all the time. Christ being born is significant but would not have served any purpose if it were not for the passion, death and resurrection. On Easter Sunday, Christ won!  Christ proved to the world that He meant what He said. He proved that He was not a liar. The temple of God was destroyed and was rebuilt in three days as Christ promised (John 2:18-22).  Jesus freely gave us His life because He has authority over life and death (John 10:17, 18, Romans 14:9, Acts 3:15).

In the first reading from Acts, Peter, the first pope reminds us of the events that happened all over Jerusalem.  First John preached and baptized, then Jesus of Nazareth came along with the power of the Holy Spirit. He did good, healed, fed and raised people from the dead. Peter states that he and the others are witnesses of this.  This is important because some today question whether Jesus existed and if He did, whether or not He actually did resurrect. Christianity is a testament to these events being actually a reality. No one is going to join a faith that does not produce.  In other words, if Jesus was not real and did not resurrect, then no one would have bothered to buy into it (1 Corinthians 15:17).  Christianity would have died out within the first few years of its existence. The fact that I am here now writing this, a former atheist; not to mention the billions around the world celebrating Easter is witness that the “stories” of Christianity are real and transcend time and locality. Peter reminds us that this man-God who He witnessed was the real deal. The prophets spoke of Him and He did everything they stated He would do. His resurrection sealed the deal, so to speak. This is why this day is awesome and we rejoice as the responsorial Psalm states.

In the responsorial Psalm, we say, “this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” This is indeed the day the Lord has made.  He rose from the dead beating sin and death. Because of this, our redemption was sealed and the doors of salvation were opened for all people in every time and place because Christ transcends space and time (Hebrews 13:8). We give thanks to God, we are reminded that His mercy does endure forever. God brings life to us all in the resurrection of Christ. Christ was thought of to have failed. This stone was rejected by the builders, but it became the main stone.

For the second reading we have two options. One reading from Colossians and the other from Corinthians.

In the first option, we are reminded that we too are raised in Christ and we must seek what is above. You probably have heard the saying, “live each day as if it were your last;” well to that I add, “and focus on what is beyond earth.”  This life on earth is not the final journey. Death may seem forever or a destruction of life. but it is not (Wisdom 3:1-9).  When we are baptized, we die in Christ and share in His resurrection (Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12, Hosea 6:2).  Nothing can separate us from Christ, not even death (Romans 8:38).

In the second option, reminds us that we must start anew. Christ is risen. He redeemed us. We should not use old yeast to make a fresh batch of dough. Instead, we must use new yeast. Who puts on dirty clothes after showering?  Who pours new wine into old wineskins (Mark 2:22)?  It would be silly to do this as it would cause contamination. We are a new creation and must leave the old behind (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Finally, in the Gospel we read that on the first day of the week or Sunday, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb.  She noticed that the stone was removed and ran to Simon Peter. Mary Magdala believed the body of Christ was stolen. Peter and the other disciples went to see for themselves and saw that, in fact, the body was missing. Only the burial cloths remained.  The Gospel ends with the phrase, “For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”  The disciples did not have the Holy Spirit with them. They did not understand fully what Christ had revealed to them about the temple being destroyed and rebuilt in three days or that unless the grain of wheat falls and dies, it will not produce larger crops (John 2:19, John 12:24). Jesus was supposed to die and resurrect. This salvific action would begin the restoration of humanity.  Death which is thought of as being permanent and the destruction of life was conquered by Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54). Jesus proved to the world that He is God, the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8). Only God can be born as a human, live and die and then come back.  No other being is capable of doing this. Only God can make a paradox work while our minds struggle with them.  God beat death!  God beat sin!  God is the boss!  The resurrection is what gives substance to Catholicism (Christianity).  Had Christ not risen, then He would have been dismissed as any other person before, during and after His time who claimed to be a deity or sent by God. Moses did not resurrect, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, nor David resurrected; Christ did. Solomon did not resurrect neither did John the Baptist, the disciples or even Mohammed; Christ did!  The empty tomb is witness that Christ was no a liar.  He was not a fraud.   With joy we say today: alleluia, Christ is risen !

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040515.cfm

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