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Easter Day Mass 2014
Cycle A

First Reading
Acts of the Apostles 10:34a, 37-43

Peter proceeded to speak and said: “You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.

Second Reading
Colossians 3:1-4

Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Gospel Cycle A
John 20:1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

My sisters and brothers in Christ,

Christ is risen! He is risen! This day is glorious because Jesus suffered and died for us and then rose from the dead. If Jesus had not risen, He would be like any other great religious teacher. Instead, we come to know that Jesus is Lord and God and we accept Him as our Savior.

The Acts of the Apostles is clear: Jesus lived a human life, a life of miracles and good deeds--and He also caused upset among the religious leaders of His time, who questioned who He was and could not accept His answers. So He was put to death. You and are here because we accept His answer and believe in Him and know in faith that He is the Son of God, that He is truly God Himself in our midst and that He has shown us the way of life.

The Letter to the Colossians gives witness that if we follow Him, we shall also have life in Him after our own death. Jesus rose from the dead and invites us to live with Him eternally. If He had not risen, we could not believe in Him.

The Gospel from John today gives an account of how the followers of Jesus came to know the Resurrection. The women, and in particular Mary Magdalene, were concerned about the burial of Jesus because He had buried in haste. They go to check on the tomb and find it open and the body gone. This upsets them because they do not know what has happened and do not want His body treated badly.

Mary Magdalene runs to tell Simon Peter, who is with the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. Simon Peter and the other disciple run to the tomb. The other disciple runs faster that Simon Peter and gets there first, but waits for Simon Peter to enter. Simon Peter sees but it is the other disciple who believes.

The challenge for us in the Resurrection is to see and to believe. We are here celebrating because of our belief in the Lord Jesus. His Resurrection is life for us and freedom from the death of sin. We rejoice because we believe. He has destroyed the death of sin completely. He has made sin foolish and invited us to live to the full.

Let us go to the tomb with Mary Magdalene and with the disciples and marvel at the works of God. What seemed dead is now life. What seemed impossible has happened. May we rejoice in the newness of life this day and sing Alleluia!