FEASTING ON THE WORD
"If you meditate on the Scriptures it will appear to you in its brilliant splendor." ―St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord (C)
Acts 10:34A, 37-43 | Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 | 1 Corinthians 5:6B-8 | John 20:1-9
The psalmist prays today, “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad!". On this Easter Sunday, let us remember that our faith is bigger than life, and that Jesus is more powerful than death. By rising back to life, Christ has opened, for everyone, a path that leads to Life. He invites us now to put off our old corrupt self and be transformed anew.
A devout Christian watched Mother Teresa of Calcutta as she cleaned a maggot-infested wound of a Hindu and fed starving moslems on the streets, only to say, “Why are you helping them? They are not Christians, are they?" Mother Teresa replied, "But I am a Christian".
In our First Reading, Peter, at first, thought that the Messiah had come only for the Jews. God had to shake Peter up about this opinion. Peter realizes that God has no favorites but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. Jesus suffered, died and resurrected for all people, not just for one group or the elect. For this reason, Peter preached that the old differences between Jews and Gentiles don't matter anymore. Jesus came to break down the walls that divide us. Salvation is a universal gift for all humankind. The universality of the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ calls for an end to every kind of undue cultural, ecclesial, and political introversion. This finds expression in reciprocal respect for the life of each person.
Businesses restart under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic by clearing away the rubbish and placing a sign out front that said, “Business as usual.” When God saves us, his desire is that we would put out a sign that says, “Under new management.”
The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians calls them to conversion with a metaphor. He uses the implication of leaven in bread to symbolize the new covenant. Leaven or yeast is a biological agent. What confirms it as a plant is its ability to reproduce itself. It is a fungus that induces fermentation that changes the properties of dough. Yeast makes the dough rise. Leaven signifies anything which rots and corrupts. Passover was followed immediately by the Feast of the Unleavened Bread. In preparation for this feast, all traces of old bread or corrupt crumbs were hunted and removed from the house and only unleavened bread was eaten during this festival. As we know, sin has an inclination of producing more sins. The Resurrection of Jesus invites us to hunt for all the leaven in our homes, that is, to eradicate sin from our lives. Consequently, on this first day of the Easter season, at every Holy Mass in the world, we renew our Baptismal promises. This massive mobilization of Catholic Christians to launch a major offensive against Satan and profess our faith in the Father of life, Jesus our Life, and the life-giving Spirit is a solemn declaration that we are in fact, "Under new management".
A story is told about two boys, Caloy and Romy, having a conversation while playing with Mobile Legends. Caloy said: “My mom will have a hysterectomy.” Romy asked: “What’s that?” "I don’t know," Caloy answered, "but I heard my dad say that once mom gets it, she will no longer be hysterical.”
That first Easter morning was filled with hysterical moments. It was terrible news that Mary of Magdala brought to Peter and the unnamed beloved disciple when she came running with the announcement that the corpse of Jesus had disappeared. There was awe, disbelief, amazement, confusion and lots of running. Perhaps life and all of its challenges have taken a toll on you. You struggle to share in the joyful Alleluias because things are just so hard for you right now. But listen: Easter may lead to the light, but it begins in the darkness. Easter may ultimately be about things that are high, bright, light, and clear, but it begins in things that are low, dim, dark, and murky. The gift of Easter is hope. In this time of uncertainty and fear, Easter reminds us that life is worth living. Don't forget the Resurrection; rejoice in it and glory in it, for Jesus is risen indeed. He defeated sin and death. A holy and meaningful Easter to all of you. <enrique.ofs>
Jeff Jacinto, PhD, DHum