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Lectionary 43: Easter Sunday Excitement

March 30, 2016

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Lectionary 43.  Scripture: for Easter Sunday, March 27. Acts 10: 34.37-43. Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23.  Colossians 3:1-4 or I Corinthians 5:6-8. John 20:1-9:

Excitement!  The Good News that Jesus is risen fills the air for all of us who believe in Jesus as the Son of God in union with the Holy Spirit.  He is truly risen and I rejoice as we join in the celebration of the greatest Event in Christianity.  We have enduring hope that we all will continue to share the mystery of resurrection not only in Jesus but also in ourselves.  How shall it be? Probably, similar to what we hear about Jesus after his resurrection.  And    we will hear about it many times this Easter season through the resurrection narratives of the four Gospels.We will listen and sing about Jesus our Savior who is risen from the dead.

I sense the joy in Peter’s Resurrection sermons found in the Acts of the Apostles. He is the first to give us the outline of his sermons already in chapters two and three. We have a more advanced one in what we listen to this Easter Day (Acts 10:34.37-43).

Simon Peter is the first to preach many sermons about Jesus and it is Luke who gives us the content and outline of his sermons in his second great inspired work, the Acts of the Apostles.  Luke has captured Peter’s enthusiasm and excitement about Jesus’ salvific work, his ministry of healing and preaching, and his passion, death, and resurrection.   His witness leads to many joining in the belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God.

Psalm 118 is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving and of victory over sin and death.  It contains the Easter theme : This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.” The Psalm praises God thirty times within its twenty-nine verses.  This last verse sums up our Easter theme :”O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for his mercy endures forever.”

I love both selections from St. Paul for this feast. The passage from Colossians tells us we shall appear in glory with Jesus by continuing to believe in the Risen Lord. In I Corinthians we learn that  Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. This an important theological statement by Paul in I Corinthians.  We celebrate this Passover Easter Feast with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

There is even greater excitement and joy in the hearts of three disciples  of Jesus:  Mary Magdalene who first finds the empty tomb of Jesus, then Peter who hears of this with John nearby.  Both are found running to the tomb and John is the first to believe that a mystery has happened that is too good to be true.  The news will spread rapidly that Jesus is not in an empty tomb. He is alive and well!

Signs are given that lead to their faith beyond reason.  The sheets are neatly folded and the headpiece is lying apart neatly folded.  These three are the first witnesses to the Resurrection with Mary Magdalene leading them.  Yes, this is the day the Lord has made not only for the first disciples and apostles but also for all of us who believe that the Lord is truly risen.  Alleluia. Alleluia.

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