Acts 10:34A, 37-43; PS 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23; COL 3:1-4 or I COR 5:6B-8; JN 20:1-9
I am the aunt of thirteen wonderful nieces and nephews and three "grands." Thus, I do have some experience with babies and young children. Parents (and aunts and uncles) will recognize that when young ones are happy to greet you or want to be "raised up" their whole body gestures for such embrace. However, if they do not want to be picked up or held, their body becomes stiff and resistant. Throughout this Lent and Holy Week, perhaps we have become more open and ready to be "raised up" once again with Jesus our Christ.
In the first reading from Acts, Luke gives a wonderful summary of Jesus:
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed. . .They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible. . .
The text continues with our part:
He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God . . .to him all the prophets bear witness. . .
We hear the story of the resurrection from John's Gospel:
On the first day of the week signals the new creation, which is one of the themes of John's Gospel. In Genesis, the first day was the day of separating light from darkness. John reasserts that Jesus is the Light of the World.
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark. Thus, the early disciples were "still in the dark" about Jesus. But, it was early in the morning, so the light would soon shine!
She saw the stone removed from the tomb. There is a "setting free" theme implied here. Jesus was free to be raised up. We, too, may need our own "stoney hearts" to be made "hearts of flesh" so that we are free to believe in and follow the Christ.
"They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him." Jesus is no longer entombed! . . .they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. Thus, they had seen the evidence, but did not yet understand. And, we too, are struck by the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus, as well as our own.
In the second reading, from Colossians, Paul writes:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above.
...think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
Thus, be attentive to the spirit-life within each of us, the life we enjoy in Christ. St. Leo the Great said: "Christian, remember your dignity." Our very identity is our relationship with God in Christ Jesus! This indeed is cause for ALLELUIA, for one grand hooray!
On this Easter Sunday, let us lift our hands seeking and ready to be "lifted up" by God. As we continue to ponder the mystery of resurrection, let us focus on the reality of the risen Christ who lives in us, who acts through us. And, let us celebrate, for it is through us that Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Sallie Latkovich, CSJ
Director of Bible Study and Travel Programs
Director of Summer Institute
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