Easter Sunday (Mass of the Day)
Various things are associated with Easter: Easter shopping, Easter party, Easter eggs, and others. A popular tradition on this day is the Easter egg hunting. The eggs are cooked and colored. They are appealing especially to children. However, when an egg is broken and cooked, the life inside dies. When an egg breaks from within, a bird breaks forth and its life develops into a magnificent creature.
Easter is not about eggs or about family parties. Easter is about the Word of God, who became flesh and lived among us; and from the bosom of the earth, He, whom people killed and buried, rose from the dead, bringing salvation to all. It is about God who brings new life to the world and makes things new. It is about the Son of God, who, in His love, did not want to see people die in their sins, but to return to Him and have life. Easter is moving beyond or passing over our sinfulness to the life of Jesus. Any celebration without consideration of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, is devoid of the meaning of Easter and the salvation it brings to all.
So, the Son of God, who instituted the Eucharist, as transformation of our human situation into His life, enters us, fills us, nourishes us and strengthens us, so that He can break from within us the shells of indifference and apathy, pride and resentment, anger and animosity, and our little favorite sins, so that we can find new life in Him. The Book of Revelation tells us that He makes all things new, as “God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away” (Rev 21:3-4). The Prophet Isaiah also proclaims that He sets things right for “though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool” (1:18).
Today’s readings direct us to the following declarations of faith:
- “We are witnesses of all that he did…. witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:39-41). To be a witness to the life of Christ is to be with and to learn from Him in prayer, study of Scriptures, to partake of Him in the Eucharist, to seek His mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to share his work with the poor and the needy whom He loves.
- “He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42). To be a witness to the life of Christ is not just to be an observer. What we have heard and learned, we have to preach, and preach in word and deed. Frank Outlaw said, Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny (www.beliefnet.com). In his letter to the Colossians, St. Paul wrote, “your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (3:4).
- “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32). Christians burn in love for the Scriptures. St. Jerome said, “I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: Search the Scriptures, and Seek and you shall find. Christ will not say to me what he said to the Jews: You erred, not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God. For if, as Paul says, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
So, Christians are we, because Christ is risen. Let us be credible Christians; and to be credible is to spend time with Jesus in learning the Scriptures, in prayer, in the reception of the Sacraments, in our legitimate relationships, and in involvement in the works of the Church. When we find ourselves in the darker side of our life and our efforts seem to be going the wrong way because of various difficulties, let us invite Jesus to “stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over” (Lk 24:29). We then enter the Paschal Mystery of Jesus in every situation of our life. The 2 disciples “recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread” (Lk 24:35). We learn that Jesus is Himself the WAY to the many Emmaus of our life. He is also the BREAD that strengthens us to walk back to the Jerusalem of our life to meet more challenges and opportunities that lead us to everlasting life.
We celebrate the Eucharist as the Living Meal and our Way to the Father and we bring the concerns of the world, the whole Church and our families to Him, for the Eucharist is one living offering worthy of the Father.