ACTS 10:34A,37-43/ PS.118/ COL.3:1-4/ JOHN 20:1-9
Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai
The bible says in 1 Cor. 15:14, that without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, “our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain.” Again, in Rom.1:4 the Bible says that the resurrection of Jesus is a powerful declaration that Jesus is the Son of God. Beloved in Christ, belief in the resurrection is foundational to Christianity. If you do away with the resurrection, we have nothing to believe. Therefore, the resurrection is the reason for our Christian vocation. John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live”. The resurrection is the reason we shall live after our death. This resurrection Sunday is called Easter. It is the dawn of a new era for the disciples and the rest of us. Therefore, let us not keep quiet about this glorious dawn, let us like Mary run to the elders of our streets, run to our neighbours and friends and tell them about the resurrection in words and actions.
Easter says: Despair is never an option- The resurrection demonstrates to us that no matter how bad things might look right now, God has the power to change our conditions. In spite of the darkness of Good Friday, the mourning of Holy Saturday, the tears of the women of Jerusalem, and the Sorrows of Our Lady; Easter has changed the disaster. In Easter God spoke and said no more sorrow and no more weeping, no more shame and no more pain, I have come to give you cheers for the tears. And he says to us today, despair is never an option, no matter your situation Ps.3:3 says God is the lifter of my head. God who raised Jesus from the dead; will raise you up. For he says in Hosea 13:14 “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O death, where is your sting; O grave, where is your ruin?” Beloved in Christ, never give in to despair; it is only despair that says a situation is beyond repair. But up from the grave He arose. Therefore, never give up. This becomes a special message for us especially during this crisis of COVID 19, never give up; there is hope! Darkness may last all through the night but joy comes in the morning. Never give up!
Easter says: Be My Witness– The woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons was the first human being in history to see the resurrected Christ in person and recognize who He was. What an honor! Upon that honour she was given a mandate to go tell others. Anyone who has been honored by the Lord has also been mandated by the Lord. Our mandate is to witness, like Peter and John in the first reading we are called to witness. Christians, witness is our business. Wherever you are, permeate that place with the presence of God. Let witnessing be your life style by telling the truth, showing love, sharing the gospel, sharing your bread, and praying with a neigbour. In fact, the three keys of Lent remain. The end of lent is not the end of fasting, prayers and almsgiving. Easter gives the uncommon confidence in fasting, praying and almsgiving. So if will must witness very well we must align with these spiritual keys.
Easter says: Seek the things that are above: In the Second reading St. Paul says if you have been raised with Christ seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Many Christians today have set their mind on earth and the consequent result is greed. Before his death the disciples had a mindset thus they had to argue who is the greatest; but after the resurrection the mind set changed, they were concerned about how to gather in the upper room. They were concerned with winning souls and things of eternal relevance. Beloved in Christ, Easter comes to reset our mind, to reset is to reorder, so Easter comes to reorder our minds for heaven. We need to free our minds from vain things, we need to clear our minds from that doubt and confusion, from that image and videos, from those dirty things, from those fantasies of shame so that we can be aligned for heaven and crave ardently for things that has eternal value.
Easter says: The grave is not our final destination- In John 14:1-3, Jesus tells the disciples, do not let your heart be troubled, believe in God and believe also in me, he says I go to prepare a place for you that “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” This is true for all Christians. The resurrection proves that Jesus has the power to live up to this claim. He will come and take us to himself and we will dwell with him. Beloved in Christ, one may die and be buried in the Church cemetery that does not mean you are already numbered among the saints, what numbers you among the saints is your believe in the resurrection that fosters in you a holy life. If you don’t believe in the resurrection you may not experience it. The resurrection of Jesus says to us today that the grave is not our final destination. I pray for you that by the reason of the risen Christ, after our earthly sojourn the grave will not be our final destination. Amen!
An Act of Spiritual Communion
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.Amen.