EASTER SUNDAY – Year B – 08 April

Christ has died! Christ is Risen! Christ will come again!

In so many ways this IS the most profound expression of the MYSTERY OF FAITH. Easter Sunday would be THE day when this acclamation fits the best. Why it has been deleted from the possibilities of proclamations after the Consecration at the Eucharist is another mystery? Fortunately, not ‘of faith’ … it remains mystery within the machinations of ecclesiastical politics! I have heard a vague explanation along the lines that it is not scriptural? What nonsense!

What about Peter’s proclamation in today’s FIRST READING [ACTS 10:34. 37 – 43]? The apostle says it all: “they killed him by hanging him on a tree, yet three days afterwards God raised him to life … appointed him to judge everyone, alive or dead.”

Christ has died! Christ is Risen! Christ will come again!

Jesus Christ DID something specific, which was accepted, affirmed and confirmed by the Lord God, and he still has something to do. The Risen Lord has not yet finished with us or his world! As Saint Peter said, “all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

In addition, “this has to be proclaim(ed).”

Why on earth should “the people” not proclaim it?

Not only should the communities of Eucharist all over the world proclaim it, but each and every single individual Christian needs to do the same. This acclamation is given deep expression in the opening words of TODAY’S PSALM [117 or 116]: “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.”

On Easter Sunday we all should have a need to (i) give thanks, (ii) acknowledge the Lord’s goodness in our lives, and (iii) accept that his love has no end.

Do not overlook the second stanza of this week’s Psalm extract because it proclaims in powerful and penetrating language where we stand on Easter Day:

The Lord’s right hand has triumphed; (give thanks)

his right hand raised me (his goodness)

I shall not die, I shall live (no end to his love)

and recount his deeds.

The last line of this stanza adds the important dimension of the challenge for all of us to become prophetic. This is not nearly as complicated as it may sound. In its simplest form we are prophetic by our ordinary living which should proclaim: Christ has died! Christ is Risen! Christ will come again!

Let us return, briefly, to Peter’s assurance that all who believe and strive to live (sometimes more successfully than at others!) this proclamation “will have their sins forgiven.” This is not intended to send us on a guilt trip or for us to become preoccupied with our failures.

Yes, self-valuation is always essential. However, what really needs to be acknowledged and faced are the dark areas of our living. We all have dark areas, and should not fool ourselves. Yet, Easter Sunday reminds us that the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus empowers us to hold firmly to Isaiah’s promise that the Lord “changes the darkness before us into light.” {42:16}

In this context, notice how today’s GOSPEL EXTRACT [JOHN 20: 1 – 9] begins by recording that it was “still dark when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb.” However, as we know, within a very short period of time, she (with the darkness of her past) was still able to fall at his feet, and worship. In addition, the Gospel extract tells us that John “went in, he saw and he believed. …. till this moment they had failed to understand … that he must rise from the dead.” The two disciples also had darkness in their pasts, and there were to be periods of darkness in the future. However, they never forgot the empty tomb. We should not do so!

Also, our too-often overstated (excuses!) littleness must never deter us from returning – over and over again – to the same empty tomb. It is only a little yeast which is necessary. [second reading – 1 Corinthians 5: 6 – 8]. The alternative [COLOSSIANS 3: 1 – 4] tells us that “you have died, and now the life you have … you too will be revealed …” when you proclaim in your lives that Christ is Risen! Christ will come again!