Grow+Go ~ Easter Sunday
| April 4, 2021 | Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord
Acts 10:34a, 37-43 | Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8 | Jn 20:1-9
GROW - AS A DISCIPLE | PRAY, STUDY, ENGAGE, SERVE
I have happy memories when I think about all the Easter celebrations I experienced as a child. Easter baskets with nicer-than-usual chocolate; indoor Easter egg hunts – check under the lampshade! – and wearing the best of our Sunday best to Mass. I wouldn’t trade these memories for anything, but writing this reflection reminds me that our modern-day celebrations and traditions don’t come close to truly capturing the gamut of emotions the disciples must have felt on that first day of the week. From the fear, despair and confusion they initially experienced, to the joy that would have enveloped them when they realized what the empty tomb meant: Jesus had risen! The beloved disciple entered the empty tomb of Christ in today’s Gospel, “and he saw and believed.” As Christians, I think we sometimes take this foundation of our faith for granted. And so I pray for a renewed sense of awe at the stunning reality: to “see and believe” that God so loved us that he gave his only Son, who died and rose so that we, too, might live forever in God’s love.
GO - EVANGELIZE | PRAYER, INVITATION, WITNESS, ACCOMPANIMENT
Some days I wake up with particular joy or anticipation: “Today we are going on vacation!” Or, “Today my son graduates from college.” It is a wonderful feeling, and one that helps me jump – OK, roll a little faster – out of bed. If we take to heart the psalmist’s message today, we see that this is how God intends for us to awaken every day: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” God is the author of our life, and on this Easter Sunday, we celebrate the gift of eternal life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In today’s first reading, Peter relates how the disciples were commissioned to share the Good News of Christ’s resurrection. His words remind us that the story of Easter cannot and should not be contained. Instead, we are called to witness that “everyone who believes in [Jesus] will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” That is good news worth sharing, whether on our social media feed, or with our loved ones and those we encounter each day.
Happy Easter! Perhaps visit the graveside of a loved one, and take the opportunity to talk about life after death. Say a special prayer of thanks at your Easter meal. And remember to smile in the direction of new faces at Mass today!