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 C
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.
Finally we can shout out once again: Christ is risen! He is truly risen! He is risen indeed! Let us rejoice and be glad in Him. Death is overcome and life is given back to us! Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
In the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, we see the reaction of the first followers of Jesus Christ. They could not contain themselves. So many people at that time and even today are convinced that they were deluded and wrong and that Jesus never rose. If Jesus did not rise, then our Christianity is total foolishness and we are just a group of mindless people who stick with a myth because it helps us live in some way or another.
The first Christians surely had to face so much of this way of thinking. Even today it amazes people that we Christians can say: Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe He is God. I believe that He died, was buried and rose again from the dead. I believe that He did all of this because He loves me and because He has given His life for all of us, whether we believe in Him or not.
The second reading invites us to realize that for us who do believe, our real life is hidden with Christ in God. This sounds like a strange kind of phrase, but seems to mean that who we really are is only truly understand with Christ in God. And it is hidden from others. We can testify to our faith, but if someone just looks at us, tht person cannot tell if we believe or not.
The Gospel is about the empty tomb and speaks of the role of Mary Magdalene and the role of Peter. These are important first witnesses to our faith in the risen Jesus. Even for us believers there may be times when we feel that it is very difficult to believe. On the other hand, every time that we make a choice to believe, our faith continues to grow stronger. Others may consider us more and more foolish and we simply have to accept that.
There are times in our faith when we seem to rebel against faith and belief. Yet deep inside us we can still sense that we do believe and that this believe is what our real life is about. The Gospel account today shows us Mary Magdalene, who knew that something really important had happened but was not yet sure what had happened. It shows us Saint Peter, also recognizing that something important had happened, but not sure yet what had happened. And finally the “other disciple” sees and believes.
We can identify with all three of these believers. We can see ourselves as Mary, recognizing that something important has happened and that the leader of our faith should come and see what has happened. We can identify with Saint Peter, who seems always slow to believe but steadfast once he believes. Or we can identify with the more mysterious and mystical “other disciple” who sees and believes. We can be all three of these people at once.
At the heart of our Christian faith is this deep and unshakeable conviction that Jesus is God (Jesus is Lord), that Jesus died and was raised from the dead, and that Jesus is still present in our lives. The more deeply we believe these most basic elements of our Christian faith, the stronger will be our Easter Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Today is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in Him. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!!!