Proclamation and witness are the two central themes running through this morning’s Easter Sunday readings. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter speaks about his own experience and shares that experience with the listening crowds. Peter is filled with the joy of knowing with utter conviction that Jesus, who died on the Cross, is now alive. He simply must share that same joy with others – so that it can be theirs, too.
Similarly, Paul’s experience of the resurrection leads him to advise us that we need to keep focus on the risen Christ, since Christ is our life. For Paul, we know that his experience of the Risen Lord brought a total revolution to his life, and gave him a total new vision of things and especially of the meaning of Jesus' life and message.
In the Gospel, we have the experience of the empty tomb as a sign that Jesus is risen. The discovery of the empty tomb by Mary Magdala leads to her running back to tell the disciples that Lord's body is not in the tomb. Peter and John went to the tomb and found just as Mary of Magdala had reported. That experience may have been very disappointing, but it was also a clear message that Christ is risen as he had said.
John the Evangelist, who writes the Gospel, tells us that he entered into the empty tomb, “he saw and he believed”. He believed that the Lord is risen indeed. That experience strengthened the faith of the disciples in the resurrection, and completely transformed their lives. Renewed in their conviction, they were moved to witness to the mystery of the resurrection.
The message we take home on this Easter Sunday is that Easter is not an event we celebrate annually to remember the resurrection of Christ. Rather Easter is an encounter with the risen Lord that touches us so deeply that we cannot be the same again. Easter is a way of life in which we live our Easter faith without fear.
Msgr. John Mbinda
St. John Apostle & Evangelist Catholic Church - 95-370 Kuahelani Ave, Mililani, HI 96789 - 808-623-3332 ext 100 - email@example.com
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