Acts 10: 34 – 43, 1 Corinthians 15: 19-26, John 20: 1-18
Today we rejoice that Christ is risen, Alleluia! We give thanks that he is risen indeed! We hear and sing:
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia! Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia! (NEH 110)
Today you are invited to hear, believe and meet with Jesus and then go to tell others. We hear about the resurrection of Jesus in the Bible readings and hymns for this joyful Easter Day; so we can believe. In the Gospel reading the Angels speak to Mary and we can see them in the Easter stained glass window near the piano above the bright and colourful Easter garden.
When John, the other disciple with Peter, saw the empty tomb ‘he saw and believed’. Brother Ramon’s commentary on this is helpful: ‘The sight that met them is made clear by the evangelist. The grave-clothes were not missing, were not dishevelled or even folded, but still in their original folds – the Greek says that. What did it mean? John saw, understood and believed. The body had dematerialised in its transformation from mortal to an immortal, spiritual body. So there was continuity in that the crucified body had been taken up into the body of glory…’ John believed that Jesus had risen from the dead. The linen grave clothes still lying there as evidence that the body had not been stolen. Jesus must have removed the cloth from his head and rolled it up and put it ‘in a place by itself’.
Later Mary Magdalene met Jesus and then she knew that Jesus is alive! How wonderful that Mary Magdalene’s sorrow was turned to joy when she heard Jesus say her name: ‘Mary’ (v. 16). Jesus told her to ‘go and tell’ his friends and she went to announce to the disciples the most amazing news: ‘I have seen the Lord’ (V.18). We hear that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene on Easter morning.
The Acts reading tells us: ‘God raised him from the dead on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead (v. 40-41)’. These verses help us believe that Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning.
The Epistle reading clearly states: ‘in fact Christ has been raised from the dead.’ (1 Corinthians 15:20) We hear the fact of the resurrection that Jesus is risen; Jesus is alive!
Mary Magdalene met with Jesus. We are all invited to meet with Jesus at this Mass, especially when we receive our Easter Communion or come for a blessing. At Communion we are given ‘the body of Christ’ and sacramentally receive Jesus. In the Easter hymn Thine be the glory (NEH 120) which we ended the Easter Vigil yesterday evening singing, we sing:
‘Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom.’
Let us all meet with Jesus this morning!
The Paschal Candle over there is a sign of the risen Christ, Jesus the light of the world. Last night Fr Neil carried that candle, lit from new fire, into the dark Church, singing: ‘The light of Christ’. The Paschal Candle is a symbol of Jesus’s resurrection and through the year all the baptism candles are lit from the Paschal candle and given to the newly baptised, passing on the light of Christ, with the words: Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father. How do you shine as a light?
Let us all meet with Jesus this morning! Then like Mary Magdalene on the first Easter morning we need to go and tell others the good news that Jesus is risen! Jesus rose from the dead on the first Easter Day and Jesus is alive! We can grow into a closer living relationship with Jesus by living each day in his presence, talking to Jesus and growing in faith by reading the Bible. The Chorus of an Easter hymn I serve a risen Saviour expresses what our experience can be:
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.
You can meet with Jesus asking Jesus to come into your heart today praying these hymn words: O come to my heart Lord Jesus; there is room in my heart for thee. (NEH 465)
Children and adults I wonder if you are looking forward to eating Easter Eggs today? I am looking forward to eating this Easter egg that I have been given. The Easter egg helps us to remember the true meaning of Easter. Chicken’s eggs look rather like a cave – they are the shape of the tomb where Jesus was buried.
In the Spring time there is new life when the chicks hatch. This symbolises for us about the new life and the resurrection of Jesus on that first Easter Sunday morning!
When we give and share Easter eggs let us be ready to tell our family and friends that the chocolate eggs remind us about the new life of Jesus, that Jesus is risen, Jesus is alive and Jesus loves us. They can hear, believe and meet with Him too!
Today let us all meet with Jesus and then go to tell others! Amen