Easter Sunday Gospel Reflection

Christ is Risen

I like the story about an ageing flower-lady with an outdoor stall.  Her clothes were old and shabby, her face weather-beaten and wrinkled. A regular customer asked how she was always in good form.  “It’s my friend Jesus,” she replied. “Good Friday was the worst of days.  Three days later, Easter Sunday, the best of days.  So, when I have a problem, I know that if I wait three days, Jesus will solve it for me.”  We all need a message of light and hope. The flower-lady knew that Easter is not just an event of past history but her friend Jesus is a living reality.

Pope Francis tells us: “Christ’s resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated the world.  Where all seems to be dead, signs of resurrection suddenly spring up. It is an irresistible force.  Often it seems that God does not exist: all around us we see persistent injustice, evil, indifference and cruelty.  But it is also true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit. However dark things are, goodness always re-emerges and spreads. Each day in our world beauty is born anew, it rises transformed through the storms of history.”  (The Joy of the Gospel, 276).

The rising of Jesus from the dead was the most important day in human history.  Saint Paul was so convinced of the essential place of the resurrection that he wrote that if Christ is not risen then all his preaching and all our believing is in vain.  He saw clearly that the resurrection is not simply a past event but a present reality.   Paul’s conversion occurred when the risen Lord appeared to him on the road to Damascus.  Paul asked the vision, “Who are you?”  The answer, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”  (Acts 9:5).  Two beliefs were revealed.  Not only is Jesus risen from the dead but his followers, whom Paul was persecuting, are intimately united with the Lord.

In proclaiming the mystery of faith, we say that Christ is risen, present tense.   The celebration of Easter is not complete until Christ is risen in you and me.  Christian not only in name but also in behaviour.  At baptism our personal candle received light from the Paschal Candle of Easter.  That is why we renew our baptismal commitment at Easter.

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

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