Jesus destroyed death to bring us life
by Sister Mary Kabat
I have looked forward to saying that word! There is no better word for Easter Sunday! As our hearts and voices sing it, may Easter joy fill us! Alleluia – the word takes us from the deep despair of Good Friday to the unbelievable, amazing, life-changing joy of Easter. That is the journey of the Paschal Mystery.
In the Scripture readings for the Mass of Easter, the timeline is reversed. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles (10:34a, 37-43,) we hear a confident, faith-filled Peter. Time has passed since the days shared with the resurrected Jesus and the empowering experience of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The Apostles are spreading the Good News, and Peter has come as requested to the home of the Gentile Cornelius in Joppa. This Peter we hear has made the journey from betrayal to the one who will now “feed the sheep.”
His relationship with Jesus began on the seashore and was transformed in the event recorded in the Easter Gospel from John (20:1-9). As the passage begins, we witness the palpable grief of Mary of Magdala walking to the tomb that morning and then the panic of Peter and John as they ran to the tomb upon learning from Mary that Jesus’ broken body was missing. With them we stare at the emptiness and remember Jesus’ words. Belief begins to dawn. The tears that have filled their eyes from sadness turn to tears of joy.
Mary, Peter, John and all the other disciples will never be the same because of Easter. They will never look at life and death in the same way. May Easter do the same for us. Alleluia!
O God, through your Son, you have conquered death
and unlocked for us the path to eternity.
May we who keep this solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection
one day rise in the light of your life.
(Adapted from Collect of Easter Sunday Mass)