Reflections for Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Acts 10:34,37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23; John 20:1-9)

Jesus is Alive, We Are New Creations in Him

He saw and believed. (John 20:8)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! Father, we exult in your glory! We rejoice, turning our thoughts to the One who lives, who is seated at your right hand above every power and authority and dominion.

He’s alive! Mary’s thoughts spun at the empty tomb: Jesus is missing! What happened? Who took his body? But we fix our eyes on the living Christ. Our thoughts don’t have to spin fruitlessly, hopelessly grasping at “reasonable” explanations. Because Jesus lives, we have hope. We are a new creation. We can look at life through new eyes, think with life-giving thoughts, and speak words of wisdom and understanding. Because he lives, we have peace. The unknown doesn’t have to shake us. God is for us, and nothing can separate us from his love.

He’s alive! Peter’s thoughts, perhaps, churned in regret: “I failed him. I said I would die for him, but I ran away. Now he’s gone.” But there is now no condemnation. Jesus has reconciled us to himself. We are seated with him at God’s right hand. Because he is alive, we are free from the law of sin and death. We are forgiven. Period. Jesus’ blood has cleansed us, and because he lives eternally, this cleansing is powerful. Though our lives are hidden in Christ now, one day we will appear with him in glory.

He’s alive! John saw the same empty tomb—and believed. He might not have understood fully, but still he believed. He recalled Jesus’ promises, and seeing the evidence of the empty tomb, he trusted them more than his own thoughts.

He’s alive! What about you? Jesus’ promise of life that never ends, a life full of grace and glory, freedom and endless joy. Though for a time (like Lent) we endure want and difficulties, we still fix our eyes on what is above, knowing what the empty tomb really points to. Christ is risen, and in him we now share in the promise of eternal life!

“Jesus, you’re alive! In you I live and move and have my being! Alleluia!”

(Many thanks to The Word Among Us ( 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.)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Questions for Reflection/Discussion

  1. In the first reading, Peter presents a clear presentation of the basic Gospel message to the gentile, Cornelius, and his relatives and friends. The result is that they are all converted and filled with the Holy Spirit – a powerful demonstration of the power of the Gospel when it is spoken clearly. What part of Peter’s talk stood out most to you?  If the opportunity arose for you to present the basic Gospel message to someone or to a group, what would you say? If this would be a struggle for you, what steps can you take to prepare yourself for these opportunities?
  2. The Responsorial Psalm 118 is a beautiful psalm that points prophetically to the mission and work of Jesus? Verses 22-23 of this psalm are “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the Lord, has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.” Why do you think this verse in the Psalm is then followed by the word? “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.”
  3. How well are you able to apply the words from the Second Reading from the Epistle to the Colossians to your life? What steps can you take turn to the Lord more often during the day and “Seek what is above.” and “Think of what is above, not what is on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2)?
  4. What do you think the following words from the Second Reading mean? “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
  5. In the Gospel reading, how would you characterize Peter and John’s initial reaction to the empty tomb? The “empty tomb” would eventually have a profound impact on both Peter and John’s lives. How has the truth of the empty tomb affected your life?
  6. The mediation ends with these words: “Christ is risen, and in him we now share in the promise of eternal life!” What do these words mean to you? What impact does Christ’s resurrection and the “promise of eternal life” have on how you live as a Catholic Christian?
  7. Take some time now to pray for the grace to grow more and more in your relationship with the Risen Lord and in your trust in him. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.

About Author

Maurice Blumberg is a Jewish convert to the Catholicism, and the father of five children. He is currently the Director of Partner Relations for The Word Among Us Partners, a ministry of The Word Among Us to the Military, Prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies or who have had abortions. Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men and was Chairman of the Board of The Word Among Us, a Catholic devotional magazine.