At first reading there appears to be an evident contradiction (or paradox) between THIS SUNDAY’S OLD TESTAMENT READING [ISAIAH 56: 1. 6 - 7] and the GOSPEL [MATTHEW 15: 21...
The bunnies and the eggs which were so out of place all those weeks ago now come into their own, and we ourselves give them a meaning. Those who. too soon and easily, saw values in them have nothing to celebrate today because they missed out on the reality or ignored the reason for the presence of both items. The end of our Lenten journey is with us, and so we are able to both understand and appreciate what
TODAY’S PSALM [118 or 117] proclaims:
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.”
Perhaps it is now easier to understand the 5th Sunday of Lent’s emphasis on timely preparation for Holy Week. Remember the going out bearing seed for the sowing, and coming back with a song? Recall also: what great deeds the Lord worked for us?
Also, what about last weeks’ lift high your heads, grow higher … let him enter?
TODAY WE OURSELVES GIVE MEANING TO IT ALL
During a Retreat preached during Lent I quoted the contemporary spiritual author
DANIEL J O’LEARY who tells us that ” to arrive at Easter Sunday without having first travelled by way of Holy Thursday and Good Friday could lead to a very false destination … to befriend only the Risen Lord … could be a dangerous liaison.”
We give meaning to it all because we have made the journey
. However, the journey is not yet complete. The Resurrectionhas to be LIVED OUT!
The Easter Sunday Eucharist’s
FIRST SCRIPTURE [ACTS 10: 34a. 37 – 43] reminds us of this challenge when it proclaims “you know the word which was proclaimed … and we are witnesses to all that he did … everyone who believes in him.”
We have heard the word. ….
We are witnesses. …
ARE YOU PREPARED TO BE WITNESSES?
We believe in him. …
DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE?
Today’s Psalm, again, provides a clear focus for our answers to these questions.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
by the Lord has this been done,
a marvel in our eyes.
Now, it is helpful to spend a little time on
THIS SUNDAY’S GOSPEL [JOHN 20: 1 – 9], Easter Sunday is a real blessing! Why? Because today, in a strange way, we come out of the tomb. Peter and John went into the tomb, and believed. On Easter Sunday we come OUT of the tomb BECAUSE we believe.and try to answer a question which arises from it. How fast are you prepared to run? Bunnies are full of life, eager and enthusiastic. Eggs are food which give a particular nourishment – but they have to broken open..
Is Easter Sunday’s celebration of Resurrection a really essential and foundational element of our faith?
EASTER AND RESURRECTION HAVE TO BECOME THE ONE GREAT FORMATIVE EVENT OF OUR LIVES AND LIVING – one that grips our enthusiasm and living.
The crucial phrase of this Gospel reading appears right at the very end where we read: “as yet they did not know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” The Gospel reading tells us that the news Mary Magdalene brought them arrested their attention in a profound way –
THEY RAN! Yet, they still had to see and believe. Here, words recorded by John a little later in the same chapter (v29) are of importance for us. Jesus is speaking to Thomas and tells him that “because you have seen me you have found faith. Happy are they who never saw me and yet believe.” WE MUST BE NUMBERED AMONG THOSE WHO NEVER SEEN HIMBUT BELIEVE. So, today we are happy – although my personal preference is the translation which renders BLESSED. We are blessed by Easter – because faith truly blesses us.
Easter Sunday is a real blessing! Why? Because today, in a strange way, we come out of the tomb. Peter and John went into the tomb, and believed. On Easter Sunday we come
OUT of the tomb BECAUSE we believe. If we stay inside we have not known the scriptures.
There are two possibilities for the
SECOND READING [COLOSSIANS 3: 1 – 4 or 1 CORINTHIANS 5: 6b – 8]. In the first, Paul asks “if you have been raised with Christ?” In the second he tells us to “celebrate the festival. … with sincerity and truth.” Well, we come out of the tomb for one reason only – because we have been raised with Christ. Then, our celebration must be one which is both sincere and truthful. So, we need to come out of the tomb as believers … as sincere and truthful witnesses in ordinary life and living.
This indeed is a most profound and powerful blessing.