Easter Sunday – April 9, 2023
Lectionary Readings: Acts 10:34.37-43; Ps. 117:1-2.16-17.22-23; Col. 3:1-4; John 20:1-9
Theme: To see and believe in the Resurrection.
Christ is risen. Alleluia! During the Easter mass, we have bells ringing as we sing the Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest) and the triple Alleluia before the Gospel. This was not permitted during the entire 40 days of Lent and this marks a shift of the focus from repenting and mourning to joy and rejoicing.
We are told that the other disciple “saw and believed.” But the Gospel ends with the sad comment “for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” The empty tomb was not enough for Peter and Mary Magdalene to think and believe that Jesus has risen from the dead.
It was only after Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene (vv. 15-17) that she believed and went to the disciples and announced, “I have seen the Lord.” On the evening of the first day of the week, Jesus stood amidst the disciples (except Thomas) and said to them, “Peace be with you” and showed them his hands and his side. This made the disciples to rejoice and to believe Jesus had risen from the dead.
Paul says that he himself was a witness to Jesus’ resurrection and tells us of the other appearances of the risen Jesus Christ: “He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” (1 Cor. 15:5-8).
When Jesus once again appeared to the disciples, he said to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (John 20:29). We can tell the same to a doubting Thomas today. But we can do more.
We have learned that seeing can result in believing. Jesus is raised from death each time we live his way of life. When others see we live a life of faith, love and hope and when they see us share compassion and do acts of justice and kindness especially to those who are in need, we can in our own little ways make them see glimpses of the Risen Lord and hopefully also believe.
For Reflection and Discussion: 1. Have you tried to tell the good news of Jesus’ resurrection? With whom and how? 2. In your experience, what has been a good witnessing?
Bibliography: Bergant, Preaching the New Lectionary Year B (Manila, 2008); Maloney, The Gospel of John(Minnesota, 1998).
This week’s teaching commentary was prepared by
Minerva Generalao, Bat Kol Alumna July 2014