The Solemnity of Easter Sunday – April 4th, 2021
Lectionary readings: Acts 10:34.37-43, Ps.118, Col.3:1-4, Jn. 20:1-9
Theme: The Empty Tomb
The Lord is truly risen, Alleluia! (Lk 24:34) The Resurrection of Christ is central to our Christian faith as Paul emphatically states, “If Christ has not been risen, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.” (1Cor. 15:14)
Our account from John begins with Mary Magdalen going early on the first day of the week to the tomb to anoint the body and to her astonishment the stone has been rolled away. Had the stone not been removed; how would she have managed? Perhaps the stone could be seen as an obstacle also in our own lives, as we try in our desire to encounter the Lord. Anything could be an obstacle for us, a personal weakness, a painful situation, an addiction, anything that is beyond our ability to overcome it. “The power of God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. That is part of the good news of the Resurrection of Jesus. Our hope is not in our own strength but in God’s all-powerful ability to transform us through grace.” (Mueggenborg, 88)
Confused and dismayed, Mary quickly ran to tell Peter and immediately he and John ran to the tomb, entered and saw the linen cloths. Viewing the empty tomb John came to believe. (Jn. 20:8) Perhaps, not understanding fully but he was totally committed to Jesus, no matter what. Peter however, was silent, perhaps his denial was still too vivid in his mind and Mary only later believed when she met Jesus in the garden. (Jn. 20:14) Just as these three followers when confronted with this stupendous event, needed to come to terms with it, either believing or seeing no grounds for belief and we also need to do the same.
In Acts, Peter summarizes the whole of the Christian message in a story about God’s activity through Jesus culminating in his Resurrection. (Acts 10:34) The early Christian community had embraced the resurrection of Jesus as true and saw it as the cornerstone of their preaching. It brought a new dimension of being into their world, one that could transform it.
“Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things. (Col. 3:2-3) Today’s psalm is one of the Hallel (Praise) psalms and we rejoice as we sing, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps.118:24) We pray in gratitude for we live in a world where the Resurrection did happen. “God did not make himself known through a system of teaching, nor a theology, nor a book but through a series of events recorded in the Bible. The coming of Jesus of Nazareth was the climax of this series of redemptive events. His Resurrection is the event that validates all that came before.” (Ladd, 354)
For Reflection and Discussion: During this time of isolation due to the pandemic, how can we truly rejoice this Easter? What meaning does Christ’s resurrection bring to our world and to this situation?
Bibliography: Ladd, George Eldon, A Theology of the New Testament, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.,Grand Rapids, Michigan,1993) Mueggenborg, Daniel H. Come Follow Me (Herefordshire,UK.2016).
This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Rita Kammermayer, Canada, Bat Kol Alumna/Alumnus:2001