Sunday, April 8, 2012

Gospel Reflection

April 08, 2012
Easter Sunday (Solemnity)
by Rev. Fr. Stephen Mifsud (MSSP – Quezon City)
(Batchawan, Bataan)

First Reading:               Acts 10:34, 37-43  
Psalm:                         Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23  
Second Reading:          Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Gospel:                        John 20:1-9

1Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag'dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 3Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. 4They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; 5and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, 7and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.


A certain kindergarten teacher was telling her students the story of Jesus. In her class was a little boy who came from a non-Christian family. He was paying very close attention to the story because it was all new to him. As the teacher told how Jesus was condemned and nailed to the cross to die the boy murmured, "No! That's too bad!" The teacher then went on to tell how on the third day Jesus rose from the dead and came back to life. The boy's eyes lit up with delight and he exclaimed, "Totally awesome!" 

During this week we heard the story of the suffering and death of Jesus. Like the little boy many of us felt like "No! That's too bad!" Today we hear the rest of the story and again with the little boy we can now exclaim "Yes! Totally awesome!" Today we can again sing "Halleluiah" that we have not sung all through Lent. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad (Psalm 118:24).

Why do we rejoice today? We rejoice because truth has triumphed over falsity, justice over injustice and tragedy has turned into comedy and evil turned to goodness.
Jesus was falsely charged of crimes he did not commit, and unjustly sentenced to a death he did not deserve. {Haven’t you ever experience being the subject of tchismis and judged unjustly by others. 
Jesus’ friend Judas betrayed him, his trusted companions deserted him and Peter denied him. {Haven’t you sometimes felt abandoned by your close friends or family?  

The people Jesus loved and preached to, demanded his crucifixion and chose to have the bandit Barabbas released in his place. {Haven’t you experienced people that after you help them, do harmful things to you or others and sometimes turn against you? 

Jesus’ story is one of betrayal and lies, dishonesty and meanness, unfaithfulness and wicked violence directed against an innocent... If that were the end of the story that would be a bad story, a tragedy. But thanks be to God it is not.

Today’s celebration reminds us that Jesus rose from the dead and conquers sin, injustice and death.  Jesus’ life is more powerful than death...  light is more powerful than darkness.  I ask you: Which is the most powerful, light or darkness?  If you put them together who wins? Light!
We all have moments of darkness, problems to face. That’s why the Liturgy today helps us to remember not to get discouraged with our problems.  Do not give up on doing what is right even when the world around us is doing the opposite. Continue to do the right things.

We must learn to believe in the sun even when it is not shining. That is why the church asks us today to rejoice and be glad. Even when we are going through very difficult times: through betrayal, unjust discrimination, lies, loneliness, misrepresentations;. Today Christ has won. And we know that if we are with Christ we shall overcome our sins, our oppositions and death itself. 

Rejoice and be glad ! Alleluia !