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.
Christ is risen! That means that Christ is alive after being put to death. Christ is risen! That means that the forgiveness that He promised to us is real: our sins are forgiven! Christ is risen! That means that when we die, we will be with Him. When He comes in glory at the end of time, we will be with Him. Christ is risen! That means that truly He is the Son of God, God of God, Light of Light.
My friends, so often we end up with our faith as something inside us that we just barely sort of tolerate. On Easter morning, we must shout out with all of creation: Christ is risen!
The Gospel at this Day Mass for Easter is full of delight and joy. We can just imagine Peter and John running to the tomb. John runs faster but then waits for Peter. Peter, as always, is just a bit behind and does not understand the Scripturew that Jesus had to rise from the dead. John waits out of respect and when John enters the tomb, he sees and he believes.
Both Peter and John are faithful followers of Jesus. Our Christian community is always made of people with different relationships to the Lord and to the Scripture. We must learn to rejoice in our differences even as we seek the Lord Jesus together. We must all be seeking the truth together and also will to respect those who have roles of leadership within the community. Christ is risen! Christ invites us to walk with Him and to form a community with Him.
We must come to see and believe that Christ is risen. We see this in the love of others, in the beauty that is always present in others and in creation and in the truth that we search for together as a community. We especially see the love of Christ and that He is risen when we serve the poor and the rejected.
We also see that Christ is risen when we believe in the forgiveness of sins. We must believe and trust in Jesus even when we are still sinners. We have to believe that the sins of others are forgiven if we want to believe that our sins are forgiven. Because Christ is risen, we can live in peace and harmony even with those who would want to destroy us. Christ is risen! It is Christ who has shown us how to forgive even those who put us to death. It is Christ who teaches us to love even those who work against us in every circumstance. Christ is risen!
All of this is only believable today if we believe that Jesus is Lord, Jesus is God and Jesus in my Savior. If Christ has risen from the dead, then we are saved. Christ is risen. Let us rejoice in Him and with one another. Alleluia!