Easter Day Mass-Cycle B-2009 Acts 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 B
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.
We have walked with the Lord Jesus these past days, living again in our hearts the last supper with Jesus, the death of Jesus, the anxious waiting on Saturday and finally the great Paschal Vigil in which we receive the joy of His Resurrection. Now we have come out of darkness and are in the full light of day. We still rejoice. It is true that He has risen!
It is only in the daylight that Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved return to the tomb and find it empty—because Mary of Magdala had told them. The empty tomb becomes the point of faith for them. It is really important for us to see that it is Mary of Magdala who loves the Lord enough to go check on Him who brings the message first. Then Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved come to the tomb. This is how we become followers of Christ. Someone tells us about Him. Perhaps we were baptized as babies or even as children—yet it is someone else then handing the faith on to us.
The challenge is for each of us to become personal witnesses to our faith. We must be able to say that someone gave me the faith, but now it is my own. As we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, you and I must be present day witnesses that, like Mary of Magdala and like Peter and like the disciple whom Jesus loved, we too believe that He has risen from the dead.
The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, tells us that He (Jesus) 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. Today we are challenged to live out this commission from the Lord and to speak to one another and to those who do not believe, proclaiming our faith that Jesus died and rose from the dead.
So often we find ourselves just getting comfortable with life as it is—and we don’t want anyone to make us uncomfortable. Speaking the truth about Jesus will always leave us a bit uncomfortable. The Letter to the Colossians tells us to seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. We should not be ashamed of believing in a life in heaven or of a life here below that reflects the eternal truths of God’s creation and redemption of us.
My sisters and brothers, let us sing alleluia today and rejoice that Christ rose from the dead. Let us sing alleluia and give thanks for this God who loves us so much. Let us sing alleluia and delight in salvation. May we become strong and joyful witnesses to the truth of Jesus Christ and its effect in our lives. Alleluia!