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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Reflection 2020-04-12 Easter Sunday

Acts 10:34, 37-43; Psalm 118; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18
We celebrate today, the Resurrection of Christ. The Responsorial Psalm commands us: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad. Why do we rejoice today? What is so important about Easter?
The first reading tells us Jesus is God’s anointed, the Christ. As Christ, he worked miracles and he died but on the third day he rose from the dead. This resurrection is seen by many people. Jesus also commanded the Apostles to preach and testify he is the one God has ordained as judge of the living and dead. And those who believe in him receive forgiveness of sins through his name.
The resurrection is associated with forgiveness of sins because the resurrection brings new life for us. The death of Christ atoned for our sins, but the resurrection gives us power to live the new life God has given us. This new life is available when we receive forgiveness for our sins. We receive forgiveness for our sins, when we acknowledge we have sinned, confessed it and reject it.
What does this new life look like? It is what Paul tells us in the Second Reading, one that seeks things from above. It is to set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Our life here on earth is transitory. The resurrection shows us we are created for something more than this life. It is the life with God, forever, as his child. As a child, we inherit something from our Father. We do not inherit a piece of land or a large sum of money. We inherit a kingdom that will never end! This is God’s plan for us. This is possible when according to St Paul, we hide ourselves with Christ in God. To say we hide ourselves in Christ means Christ is the One who hides it. He protects it, he takes it under his care. It is a life that we entrust to Jesus, a life of obedience to him. This is possible only when we commit to follow him.
This new life means we should not go back to what we were before. It is one where we have a new perspective of God. Jesus is risen! He is the same Jesus, but his resurrection reveals something more about him. If we are to live a new life in Christ, we need to see him from a different perspective. This is what Mary Magdalene and the Apostles learned. Mary went to the tomb, still thinking Jesus was buried there. When she did not find him, she went to Peter and John and told them so. She thought someone had taken the body away. Peter and John raced to the tomb and saw it empty.
Peter went in and saw the cloth. John went in later and saw and believed. The interesting thing is what John said after this: for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. How can John believe without understanding? How can we believe without understanding?
John saw and believed. He may not have understood what Scripture said, but he believed in what Jesus said. His faith is based on the Word of Jesus.
We see in the Resurrection also, the power of Jesus over death, over sin, over sickness. But this requires a change in the way we see things, in the way we see God. Mary only recognized Jesus when Jesus called her name in the midst of her sorrows.
Similarly, Jesus today, more than ever, calls us, calls you by your name. Do you recognize him? In the midst of your sorrow, in the midst of your turmoil, in the midst of your confusion, of your fears, doubts, anxieties, Jesus calls your name! He is revealing something new about himself. Turn to Jesus. Accept him as he is and you will see the new life he gives you. Is this true that Jesus will call you? Jesus calls you precisely because you are not worthy. He makes you worthy when you come to him. You may have ignored him all your life. He calls you still because he wants you to know him today and forever. You may have no hope, but he calls you because he wants to give you hope.
This is the day God has made, to call you to him. Respond to this call because he wants to give you new life, he wants to set you free, he wants to show you the life he has planned for you. Turn to Jesus and accept him for who he is and see what he has planned for you.
Lord, I come to you. I reject my old life and I accept you as my Lord. Give me this new life that I long for. Give me this new life that you have planned for me. And may I see you as you are and accept you as you are, be my Lord and Savior.

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