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Easter Sunday

April 24, 2011

Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

Check out this page for ideas to celebrate the 50 days of Easter at home.

God our Father, by raising Christ Your Son
You conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives
by the Spirit that is within us.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen
(Opening Prayer for today’s Mass)

Readings:
Acts 10: 34, 37-43 (St. Peter proclaims Jesus’ death and resurrection)
Psalm 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad”
Colossians 3:1-4 (set your heart on things above)
OR I Corinthians 5:6-8 (celebrate, not with corruption, but with sincerity and truth)

Sequence:
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems: Christ,
Who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, Who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, Who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
Bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen”
To Galilee He goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.

+John 20:1-9 (At Mary Magdalene’s word, Peter and John run to the empty tomb)

Set your heart on things above rather than on things of earth.
After all, you have died!
-Colossians 3:2

What do you mean, “I have died”?
It was Jesus Who died.
I’m just an innocent bystander (ok, so I won’t press that one too far!),
just an observer who’s otherwise minding my own business.
Nobody’s writing my obituary.
I’m still here, right?

Not if you’re a Christian, you’re not. Not the way you were.
Easter changed everything.

You were circumcised…with Christ’s circumcision
which strips off the carnal body completely.
In baptism you were not only buried with Him
but also raised with Him
-Colossians 2:11-12

…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
-II Corinthians 5:17

The eight day has dawned.
The new creation has begun.

Jesus isn’t the only One leaving an empty tomb!
He’s the Firstborn of the dead
(see Colossians 1:18, I Corinthians 15:20, Revelation 1:5)–
the firstborn of many brothers! (Romans 8:29)

That’s us: the baptized.
We died, with Him.
We rose, with Him–
in the waters of baptism (see Romans 6:3-4).

That’s what we celebrate at Easter!
(That’s why we renew our Baptismal vows…)

[God] raised us up with Him
and made us sit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
-Ephesians 2:6

Our citizenship is in Heaven
-Philippians 3:20

We have reason to set our hearts on things above.
That’s our native country.
As members of Jesus’ Body, we already have a seat there at the Father’s right hand.
That’s Home!

That means something.
It looks like something.
Death changes things.
So does resurrection.

Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection have empowered us
to get rid of the old yeast of corruption and wickedness,
to feast on the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (see I Corinthians 5:8).
We are witnesses, commissioned to joyfully proclaim that Jesus is the One set apart by God
as the judge of the living and the dead (see Acts 10:39, 42).
People will only listen to our words when our lives back us up.

This is the challenge of resurrection.
This is the challenge of Baptism!
This is what the “boot camp” of Lent was for.
The contest has just begun–an exhilarating exercise of the spiritual muscles
we’ve been building for the past forty days
(think of Peter and John racing to the tomb).

Now we have fifty days of joyful celebration–
fifty days to absorb just what resurrection means
before Jesus sends us to the world–
to set it on fire
(see Luke 12:49, Acts 1:8; 2, etc.).

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