Engaging the Gospel – Easter Sunday

Easter: The Resurrection of the Lord

Gospel – Matthew 28:1-10 (Vigil), John 20:1-9 

Christ says to each one of us personally, “I arose and now I am still with you.”

So Pope Benedict XVI reflected in his Easter Vigil homily of 2007.

But, the Holy Father went on to ask, “what exactly did Christ bring that was new?”

The fulfillment of our deepest longing for God:

[Our] own powers are insufficient to lift [us] up to God. We lack the wings needed to carry us to those heights.

And yet, nothing else can satisfy man eternally, except being with God. An eternity without this union with God would be a punishment. Man cannot attain those heights on his own, yet he yearns for them…

Only the Risen Christ can bring us to complete union with God, to the place where our own powers are unable to bring us. Truly Christ puts the lost sheep upon His shoulders and carries it home. 

Clinging to his Body we have life, and in communion with his Body we reach the very heart of God. Only thus is death conquered, we are set free and our life is hope.

This is the joy of the Easter Vigil: we are free.

Homily of April 7, 2007.

While we celebrate in an especially intense way at Easter, each and every Mass said anytime, anywhere, draws us into this same mystery and makes present Christ’s saving action.

Blessed John Paul II expressed this truth in On the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church:

“The Eucharistic Sacrifice makes present not only the mystery of the Savior’s passion and death, but also the mystery of the resurrection which crowned His sacrifice” (14).

Because the Lord is truly, really, substantially present in Holy Communion, we receive His “Body in its glorious state after the resurrection. With the Eucharist we digest, as it were, the ‘secret’ of the resurrection” (18).

Question for reflection: How do I respond to the Lord’s total gift of Himself, in His Passion, Death and Resurrection, for me?