April 4, 2021
God resurrected him on the third day and granted him the grace to manifest himself.
This is the day the Lord made: be our joy and joy.
If you have risen with Christ, seek the goods up there.
They had not understood Scripture: that he should be resurrected from the dead.
Reading the Book of Acts of the Apostles 10, 34a. 37-43
In those days, Peter took the floor and said:
“You know what happened throughout Judea, starting with Galilee, after john’s preached baptism. I refer to Jesus of Nazareth, anointed by God with the power of the Holy Spirit, who spent doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, because God was with him.
We are witnesses to all that he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. He was killed, hanging from a lumberjack. But God resurrected him on the third day and granted him the grace to manifest himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses appointed by God: to us, who have eaten and drank with him after his resurrection from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people, bearing solemn witness that God has made them a judge of the living and the dead. From him bear witness all the prophets: that all who believe in him receive, by name, the forgiveness of sins”.
Come out 117, 1-2. 16-17. 22-23
R/. This is the day the Lord made: be our joy and joy.
Thank the Lord because his mercy is good, because his mercy is eternal.
Say the house of Israel: eternal is your mercy. R/.
“The right hand of the Lord is powerful, the right hand of the Lord is exalted.”
I must not die, I will live to tell the exploits of the Lord. R/.
The stone that the architects discarded is now the cornerstone.
It is the Lord who has done so, it has been a clear miracle. R/.
Reading St Paul’s Letter to the Coloses 3, 1-4
If you have risen with Christ, seek the goods up there, where Christ is seated to the right of God; aspire to the goods above, not to those of the earth.
For they have died; and your life is with Christ hidden in God. When Christ appears, your life, then you too will appear glorious, together with him.
Reading the Holy Gospel according to John 20, 1-9
On the first day of the week, Mary the Magdalene went to the tomb at dawn, when it was still dark, and saw the sly removed from the tomb.
He ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said:
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they have put him.”
Peter and the other disciple went out on the way to the tomb. The two ran together, but the other disciple ran more than Peter; he came forward and came first to the tomb; and, leaning over, he saw the canvases stretched out; But he didn’t come in.
Simon Peter also came after him and entered the tomb: he saw the canvases laid out and the herdary with which his head had been covered, not with the canvases, but rolled up in a separate place.
Then came also the other disciple, the one who had first reached the tomb; he saw and believed.
For until then they had not understood Scripture: that he should be resurrected from the dead.
Hallelujah! Christ lives, the Lord is risen!
This is the joyful cry that resonates from the Easter Vigil throughout the universal Church, present even in the most remote places in the world. It is the expression of joy and hope of all Christians, disciples of Jesus who, from the dawn of the Lord’s Passover, have been perpetuated for centuries to the present day. We celebrate with joy and joy the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, his victory over sin and death, his Passover, that is, his passage from death to life; with his resurrection he has forever transformed the darkness and uncertainty of the threshold that puts an end to human life on earth and made it a luminous open door to new and eternal life, life with God in Christ Jesus. That’s why we can’t be sad; here is the foundation of Easter joy.
In this new Christian Passover that the Lord grants us to live, wrapped in difficulties and deficiencies, in the midst of the pandemic, we ask ourselves again: how we can understand and believe in the resurrection of Jesus, what we call resurrection and how we are to understand it. It is, first of all, the most important miracle in the life of Jesus himself, produced by God – as St Peter tells us in today’s first reading – with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father did not abandon the Son in the darkness of tomb and death, but made him resurface corporeally, transforming his earthly humanity into glorious humanity. Therefore, Jesus’ resurrection was not merely a revival of his corpse, in the way of the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter, the son of Nain’s widow, or his friend Lazarus; Christ did not return to the previous earthly life and then die again like any human being. Christ was resurrected by the Father to a new and eternal life, a divine life he already possessed as a Son, in which his humanity was also incorporated forever. So we affirm and believe that Christ lives gloriously, in body and spirit, together with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, constituted as a judge of the living and the dead, for ever and ever.
Jesus’ Resurrection was a historical event that happened, like so many other things of God, in the silence and simplicity of a given moment; It was by no means a conspired lie of the disciples, nor a collective self-suggestion, nor an imaginative allegory, nor a myth produced from the frustrated desire of Jesus’ disciples, to perpetuate the memory of the One for whom they had been fascinated and had left everything.
Faith in the Risen Christ, to whom his disciples fully identify with the crucified Christ, arises, as the Gospel of today tells us, from his experience of the empty tomb and the apparitions of Jesus himself to which he refers the reading of the Acts of the Apostles. It was something new to them that surprised them and even proved shocking and contradictory. As much as Jesus himself had announced it to him, at first they were unable to comprehend his victory over death. In them, as in us too, surprise predes joy and doubts before faith. Until then, until they saw Him alive with the signs of the cross, until they heard Him again, they had not understood that He was to be resurrected from the dead; thus concludes today’s gospel.
The next question we ask ourselves is: what is the meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to us, that is, what consequences it has for our concrete life. The first answer is found in this well-known affirmation of St Paul: if Christ had not risen vain and false it would be our faith. Our Christian faith is not based on the simple memory of someone who lived and died, who offered us a magnificent model, for no one surpassed until now, of universal humanism; someone who left us as a legacy a theoretical teaching and principles of behavior that help us live and live decently and properly as people and citizens.
Our Christian faith must consist mainly of the personal encounter with the living Christ who, when it occurs, illuminates our existence in a new way, the novelty of which is difficult to express in words. From the experience of the risen Christ and from faith in Him, we are called, as today’s second reading tells us, to live as resurrected, seeking and serving the goods above, the values of the gospel, a life in fullness. Without this experience and experience of the Risen One, Christians will always be faced with the danger of reducing our religion to an ideology, a philosophy, an ethical system or set of principles of individual or collective behavior, to a cultural heritage that we must sustain, justify and perpetuate to the extreme.
Therefore, in the Easter season we inaugurate today, we must ask the Lord, as his grace and gift, to be able to experience and live his resurrected presence as lived by his disciples, the first Christians: Mary Magdalene, John, Peter and all others. May it also “appear” to us, that is, to touch our hearts, to soften our hardnesses, to heal our wounds, to heal our diseases, to make us feel their presence alive, almighty and close, in the midst of so much misery, suffering, pain and death.
Only from the experience of the Risen One can we be his witnesses, authentic and reliable, as were his first disciples; witnesses of the light that overcomes darkness, of the truth that overcomes the lie, of life that overcomes death. The new hope that sprang up on the morning of the first Sunday of history will be projected onto the future of our own history, the history of humanity and the history of our peoples. So that those who see us can recognize in our faces, also in our wounds, the living face and the wounds of Christ, who passed through the world doing good and healing the oppressed by evil, because God was with Him. What a beautiful and simple programme of life for us Christians, disciples and missionaries of Christ: to pass through the world doing good and healing all those oppressed by evil, accompanied by the strength that faith in the glorious and risen Christ, the Lord, gives us.
Hallelujah! Happy Easter!
Offer Christians offerings of praise
to the glory of the Propitious Victim of Easter.
Sinless lamb that saves sheep,
God and the guilty united with new alliance.
They fought life and death in singular battle
and, dead who is Life, triumphant rises.
What have you seen on the way, Maria, in the morning?
To my glorious Lord, the abandoned tomb,
angels witnesses, shrouds and shroud.
He really resurrected my love and hope!
Come to Galilee, there the Lord waits;
there you will see his own the glory of Easter.
First of the dead, we know by your grace
that you are risen; Death in you doesn’t rule.
Winning king, take pity on human misery
and give your faithful part in your holy victory. amen.