The Resurrection of the Lord
Acts 10:34, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Colossians 3:1-4, or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
In this part of the round world, the weather is iffy. Last-years leaves still protect this-years roots and bulbs. The sun keeps insisting with light and warmth that the grass, trees, and flowers should wake up.
The sluggish earth warms slowly to the sun’s suggestions and the green-world labors to accept its own dignity. The atmosphere itself can rise and fall quickly according to cloud-cover and wind-direction. Everything of nature is reminding us here in central United States that something new and different is happening, if perhaps slowly, as well.
We hear in today’s First Reading a short homily by Peter. We will be hearing much from the Acts of the Apostles, which might be more accurately named, the Acts of the Holy Spirit in the Lives of the Apostles and Early Church. Shorter names are catchier. His talk is a brief review of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. He was anointed and called by God. He went about doing good things and healing people. Other people hanged Him on a tree. God raised Him and He became visible.
Peter then proclaims boldly that Jesus commissioned him to preach and testify that Jesus is the One Who was to come and, even more, all sins will be forgiven by His name. It is a wonderful homily for a part-time fisherman who had once forsaken his nets and then His Master.
While it was dark, the Gospel reminds us, Mary of Magdala went to the place where Jesus had been buried. The stone was rolled back. It was dark, remember. She returned to tell Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved. The two of them ran to find out where “they” had taken Him.
Here begins a theme of slowness to perceive and come to believe. Peter is slow to arrive and in many of the Resurrection narratives, there will be this slowness to recognize His presence and risenness. When these two finally go into the tomb, they see the sign and believe, even though they failed as of then, to see it all as the Scriptures had predicted.
This Easter morning there will be Sunrise Services in various places. If conditions are right, the sun will be seen peeking over the margin of the earth’s surface and there will be a cheer and excitement as if it had been in doubt. Slowly the sun centimeters its climb and begins doing good work of healing the earth of its darkness. That is Easter in a sense, but it happens every day, at least for a long time.
We are of the slow earth and our coming to life takes time. Jesus rose once and for all days and all the earth and for all its peoples.
The warmth and light of Jesus insists, like the sun, that we wake up, pick up on life and flower forth His beauty. There is much of electricity, excitement and praising of the Lord Jesus Who was raised from the deadly earth to walk again bringing others out and up and beyond. There is much Easter Joy, but is it only that Jesus rose.
There is a slowness in us; we are not risen, nor awake to our being the disciples whom Jesus loved then and loves now. There are our earthly roots and our historical leaves covering our growabilities. Where is the joy for us who are not yet totally warmed by His light?
The Son also rises for us; His insistence is a continuation of His faithfulness which moved Him towards and to His cross. Our joy is that He rose once and for us. He peeks over the margins of our earthliness more than on one early spring morning. Our Easter joy is not that we have to go and find Him, nor run to a Sunrise Service early one morning. Our joy is that He rose to find us, to help us remove the leaves of deadly yesterdays and to bring His life into the acts of the disciples He loves.
“Away grief’s grasping,joyless days, dejection.” G.
M. Hopkins, S.J.
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