April 4, 2021
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
— Psalm 118:17—
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Imagine the flood of emotions that Mary of Magdala must have experienced on that first Easter morning. Grieving and yet determined to visit the place where Jesus’ body had been laid, Mary would have been stunned to find the tomb empty. Imagine Simon Peter and the other disciple who, upon hearing Mary’s announcement, ran to see for themselves. On Easter, we hear the story of Jesus’ resurrection as though for the first time, through the account of Mary’s discovery and the testimony of Peter who powerfully shared Christ’s Paschal Mystery. We, too, have come to believe through their faithful witness. We are called to seek what is above, turn away from sin, and live as people who are forever transformed by the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection.
STEP OUT IN FAITH
Mary ran to tell Simon Peter and the other disciple that the tomb was empty. No doubt confused and concerned, Peter and the other disciple set aside whatever fear might have occurred to them and ran to see the tomb for themselves. We do not always understand God’s ways. We too are confused at times; our lives are marked by moments of uncertainty, and at times we are afraid. We can learn from Mary, Simon Peter, and the other disciple and step out in faith, trusting that we will find the Lord in the midst of the circumstances of our lives. When life gets complicated, as it often does, the best thing to do is step out, perhaps even run to the Lord!
We may not have opportunities to address crowds of people and share the gospel with them. Still, we are called to bear witness to our faith in the ways that we are able, in word and in deed. We cannot share what we have not fully embraced ourselves, however. The Easter season is the perfect time to reflect on Christ’s Paschal Mystery, the unfathomable love of Jesus who shows and shares God’s love perfectly. Our Lord gave his life so that we might have life, and have it to the full. Christ’s victory over sin and death is our victory, our promise of eternal life with God in the fullness of time. See in Christ’s life, passion, death, and resurrection the sign of God’s mercy. Let this Easter day be a moment in which you allow yourself to be touched by Christ’s incredible, undying love. Then, renewed in faith, look for ways to bear witness to the mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and love of the Lord with others.
Today’s Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37–43; Ps 118:1–2, 16–17, 22–23; Col 3:1–4 or 1 Cor 5:6b–8; Jn 20:1–9
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Prayer of the Faithful
Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and pray for the needs of all.
For the whole Church, raised with Christ Jesus our Lord, as we seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, let us pray to the Lord.
For the people of every nation of the world, may they know the right hand of the Lord that has struck with power, and be freed from malice, wickedness, and oppression, let us pray to the Lord.
For all those afflicted by illness or pain or distress; may they know the healing power of the risen Lord in their lives, let us pray to the Lord.
For all the newly baptized throughout the world, and especially those here in our own community; may they walk always with Christ in newness of life, let us pray to the Lord.
For all of our worshiping community today as we share in the mission first given to the apostles to testify to the Good News of our risen Lord, let us pray to the Lord.
For all those who are sick, for all who suffer from COVID-19, and for all who have died, especially N., N., and N., let us pray to the Lord.
For all the prayers that we hold in the silence of our hearts; for all our intentions spoken and unspoken, let us pray to the Lord.
we rejoice in the great work you have accomplished
through your Son Jesus Christ.
Fill us with zeal to proclaim this good news
and graciously hear all these our prayers
through the same Christ our risen Lord.
Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.
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First Reading — Peter is an eyewitness: The Lord is risen (Acts 10:34a, 37-43).
Psalm — This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad (Psalm 118).
(1) Second Reading — All who are baptized, set your hearts in heaven (Colossians 3:1-4) or
(2) Second Reading — Christ our Passover is sacri-ficed; therefore let us celebrate (1 Corinthians 5:6b-8).
Gospel — Three witnesses, Mary, Peter, and John; each responds to the empty tomb (John 20:1-9) or
Mark 16:1-7 (or, at an afternoon or evening Mass, Luke 24:13-35).
The English translation of the Psalm Responses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.
Reading for the week
Monday: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2a, 5, 7-11;
Tuesday: Acts 2:36-41; Ps 33:4-5, 18-20, 22;
Wednesday: Acts 3:1-10; Ps 105:1-4, 6-9; Lk 24:13-35
Thursday: Acts 3:11-26; Ps 8:2ab, 5-9; Lk 24:35-48
Friday: Acts 4:1-12; Ps 118:1-2, 4, 22-27a;
Saturday: Acts 4:13-21; Ps 118:1, 14-15ab, 16-21;
Sunday: Acts 4:32-35; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24;
1 Jn 5:1-6; Jn 20:19-31
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Feast of Faith
The Eucharist: Food for Resurrection
How do we celebrate Easter, the greatest of our Christian feasts? By doing what we do every Sunday and every day: celebrating the Mass. On the first Easter, as the heartbroken disciples walked the road to Emmaus, the Lord was with them but they did not realize it. They only recognized him “in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 22:35).
It is the same for us. In the Mass—the breaking of the bread—we meet the risen Lord together. We meet him in each other—for by our baptism into his death and resurrection, we have become members of one body, the Body of Christ. We meet him in his word—in the liturgy the scriptures are proclaimed to us, that they might take root and grow in us. And we meet him in a special way in the Eucharist, the sacrament of his Body and Blood, which is food for resurrection: “whoever eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:51). The Lord is risen indeed, and it is the Risen One who truly presides at this and every Eucharist. — Corinna Laughlin Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co.
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