Easter Sunday
The Resurrection of the Lord
The Mass of Easter Day
April 17, 2022
by Rev. Jose Maria de Sousa Alvim Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B., Chaplain,
Saint John Paul II National Shrine,  Washington, D.C.

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Sunday Reading Meditations

“Christians, to the Paschal Victim offer your thankful praises!” (Easter Sequence)

We thank the Lord for being alive and for being here among us! “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever” (Ps 118:1). As today’s entrance antiphon says: “Too wonderful for me, this knowledge, alleluia, alleluia.”

Thank you, Jesus, because you have saved us from sin, from death, from despair, from darkness, from Satan! Thank you, Jesus! We praise you, we glorify you! We praise you, Lord Jesus, we thank you and we know that you are victorious! We thank you, Lord, for being our savior. We give you thanks, Father, for saving us by your power.  We thank you, Holy Spirit, for bringing us God’s salvation, for bringing the fire of God’s love into our hearts.

The event of the resurrection is not only a memory of the past, but is still happening now by the power of the Holy Spirit!

As the refrain of the responsorial psalm says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” Today let us rejoice. Let us not only celebrate Easter but taste the resurrection!

Indeed, we rejoice and we are glad because we are beloved sons and daughters of God! Today, we receive the graces of a new awareness of God’s love, a new hope and a new joy. On Easter, we rediscover the grace of Baptism. In the second reading, Saint Paul describes Baptism in these words: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3:2–4). Baptism is a glorification of our being. “We have been buried with Christ in Baptism so that we may walk with him in newness of life” (Easter Vigil, Renewal of Baptismal Promises). We truly become new creatures. In Christ all things become new! The grace of Baptism allows us to flourish.

Like Mary Magdalen who went to the tomb, and like Peter and John who ran to the tomb to see the signs of Jesus resurrection, we also desire to discover the signs of Jesus’ victory in our lives. Let us open our hearts to be surprised by God, by his mighty deeds, because the mystery of our salvation that happened 2,000 years ago becomes new, becomes present again.

In today’s first reading, Saint Peter says that the knowledge of the resurrection is also a mission: This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible […] to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God” (Acts 10:40–42). Like Peter and the Apostles, we are called to be witnesses of the resurrection.

We bear witness to the Risen Lord as our lives are transformed, renewed and restored through our personal encounter with Jesus.

With Spirit and power, we are sent by the Lord to proclaim that he is alive, that life is beautiful and meaningful.

May the celebration of Easter be a new beginning for each one of us. May the grace and the light of this day renew our hearts and fill them with a superabundance of joy.  Amen.