Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Acts 10:34,37-43; Psalm 118:1-216-17,22-23; Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; John 20:1-9)
He is Risen!!
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. (John 20:1)
It’s Easter Sunday. Today, we celebrate the fact that more than two thousand years ago, Jesus’ resurrection changed everything. Sin was defeated. Satan was vanquished. Death was swallowed up by life. But Easter Sunday is not just history. It’s a present reality that is still changing everything!
Today, an age of grace is proclaimed. Jesus reigns victorious from the highest heavens. He commissions us to spend our lives ushering the graces of heaven down to earth, to our families, neighbors, friends, and even to strangers and enemies. And in this commission he calls you not his servant but his friend.
Today, a river of life flows. Jesus has become a life-giving spirit, pouring out the Holy Spirit onto the whole world. From this spring of resurrection power, a mighty river is cascading. It’s the millions upon millions of lives who have experienced the power of God in conversion. Your life has been swept up, too.
How can we even begin to honor God for what he has done for us today? We can start by following the footsteps of the disciples in today’s Gospel. So, like Mary Magdalene, seek out his presence as your first priority. Then, keep running to him throughout the day in prayer—just as Peter and John sprinted to the tomb. Go ahead. Peer into his empty grave, as they did, and see that Jesus isn’t dead. He’s alive! See for yourself that he has been moving in your life all these years, making you a new creation.
Imagine heaven’s celebration today. See Jesus enthroned there, surrounded by the praise of the saints and angels. Now see him enthroned in your heart. Reflect on all that today—Easter Sunday—has meant for you.
“Lord Jesus, you are alive!”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the readings and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)
Questions for Reflection and Group Discussion
- On Easter Sunday, after 40 days of reflection on the passion and death of Jesus Christ, we now celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. But more than that, we celebrate our own resurrection to new life in Jesus, through our faith and our Baptism. In what way have you experienced the new life that Jesus came to give you through his death and resurrection?
- In the first reading from Acts, Peter says that, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). Do you believe that through faith and Baptism, you also have been anointed with the Holy Spirit and power? Why or why not? If you do believe this, what keeps you from doing the same kinds of works as Jesus did? Also, what keeps you from telling others that “everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43).
- The responsorial psalm also speaks of the power of the Lord, “The right hand of the Lord has struck with power; the right hand of the Lord is exalted” (Psalm 118:16). The Psalm goes on to say, “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord” (118:17). Do you believe the Lord has given you the power to declare the works of the Lord to others? Why or why not? Share a time when sharing the Gospel with someone had a positive impact on their life?
- In the second reading from Colossians, we hear this startling proclamation, “you were raised with Christ” (Colossians 3:1). What do you think these words mean? What about the following words, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (3:3-4). How can you allow the truth of these words to impact how you live out your day, especially when faced with temptations or difficult circumstances?
- The Gospel reading says that John the apostle “believed” when he saw the burial clothes, even though he “did not yet understand the Scriptures that he had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9). Why do you think John was able to believe without any real understanding of the resurrection of Christ? How would you describe your own belief in the resurrection of Christ? How does your “belief” make a difference in your every day life? How much should it?
- The meditation challenges us with this question regarding the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday: “How can we even begin to honor God for what he has done for us today?” How would you answer this question?
- Take some time now and pray for a greater revelation of what it means that “Jesus is Risen.” Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.