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.
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 Cycle A
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.
Just like the people in Jesus’ own time, we find it difficult to believe that someone has risen from the dead. Most of us—perhaps all of us—have never been present when someone has been raised from the dead physically. Perhaps we have not even been witness to any kind of miracle. The Gospels and the stories handed down about Jesus are unbelievable! We can understand why even the good friends of Jesus thought that he was dead and that was the end of his story.
Instead, starting with one follower and then another, these early followers of Jesus met Him in a new way and came to understand the he had been raised from the dead. It was not the same kind of raising from the dead as had happened to Lazarus or the son of the widow of Nain or the daughter of Jairus. Those people had been raised by Jesus in order to live once more a normal life and die a normal death. Jesus is raised and will never die again. He is living a new life entirely and yet one which was still clearly evident to His followers.
His followers could not stop talking about what had happened. They had to bear witness to this new life.
Today we also rejoice with this new life. We have come through Lent, being formed by the Word of God. We have celebrated the Last Supper and fellowship with all God’s people. We have walked through the passion and death of the Lord and we have been in silence waiting for this new life.
The life is the same as it was before, yet it is new. This is true in Jesus and it is true in us. Each year we strive to allow God to be the complete meaning of our life. Let us rejoice in the triumph of Jesus of death once again and know that He is the triumph of our personal lives and the lives of our communities.
Christ has been raised, death no longer has power. Alleluia.