Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
April 21, 2019 Cycle C
by Rev. Jose Maria de Sousa Alvim Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B.
Chaplain, Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Washington, D.C.
Sunday Reading Meditations
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“I have risen, and I am with you still, alleluia. […] Too wonderful for me, this knowledge, alleluia, alleluia” (Entrance Antiphon).
Christ is alive and he is with us! The resurrection of Christ is the greatest and most wonderful event that ever happened in human history! The resurrection is not an idea, an emotion or an illusion but a concrete event to be known.
Saint John Paul II said: “Christ’s Resurrection is the strength, the secret of Christianity. It is not a question of mythology or of mere symbolism, but of a concrete event. It is confirmed by sure and convincing proofs. The acceptance of this truth, although the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s grace, rests at the same time on a solid historical base. […] the new effort of evangelization can begin only from a renewed experience of this Mystery, accepted in faith and witnessed to in life.”
In today’s second reading, Saint Paul says: “Seek what is above, where Christ is. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth” (Col 3:1–2). In order to know the resurrection, we need to detach ourselves from what is below and seek what is above.
To seek what is above is to desire what is great, infinite, beautiful and eternal. To seek what is above is to go beyond the superficial. To seek what is above is to seek life’s fulfillment. To seek what is above is to seek God’s presence. Today’s collect says that the resurrection “unlocked for us the path for eternity.”
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised” (Lk 24:5–6). The women went to the tomb to mourn Jesus. They were searching for what is below, for earthly realities. Suddenly, they were surprised by “two men in dazzling garments” (Lk 24:4), who told them that Jesus was no longer in the realm of death. Through encounters with people changed by the event of the resurrection, we come to know that Christ is alive. Like the women, we need to find people transfigured by the light of Easter. Saint Luke says that the women did not encounter the Risen Lord directly but only his messengers. We ourselves encounter Christ through people illuminated by God, people who live their Baptism.
In today’s second reading, Saint Peter says that the mission of the Church is to proclaim the resurrection of Christ: “He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42). The truth of the resurrection is not a private matter but compels us to proclaim that Christ is alive, life is meaningful and there is hope.
As Saint John Paul II said: “[…] the new effort of evangelization can begin only from a renewed experience of this Mystery.” Let us ask for the grace to experience the mystery of Christ’s resurrection. May the promises of our baptism, which we are about to renew now, help us to seek and find what is above. Amen.