Sunday, April 5, 2015

Todays Mass Readings - Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015 with Reflection


1ST READING - Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Peter proceeded to speak and said: 37 “You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. 40 This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 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. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.

P S A L M - Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
R: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. Let the house of Israel say, “His mercy endures forever.” (R) 16 The right hand of the Lord has struck with power; the right hand of the Lord is exalted.” 17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. (R) 22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. (R)

2ND READING - Colossians 3:1-4 (or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8)
Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed; let us then feast with joy in the Lord.

John 20:1-9 (or Luke 24: 13-35)
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.



In the classic movie, Wait Until Dark, Audrey Hepburn was blind, powerless and helpless. But she had a weapon against someone who threatened her life for some secret that she got to know. The weapon? The dark. She avoided harm by capitalizing on the dark.

       Judas, we are told, left the Upper Room when it was night. Sinister deeds need the cover of darkness, and bad people thrive best in the dark. The same darkness covered the earth when Jesus breathed His last as Luke wrote: “It was about noon, and darkness came over the whole land, until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun.”

       Audrey and Mary of Magdala had something in common. They both rose to the occasion “while it was dark.” The first made use of the dark. The other was unfazed by the dark and did what good she set out for.

       St. Josephine Bakhita lived through the darkest moments of the age of slavery. John Milton wrote his most memorable sonnet when he turned blind. Beethoven wrote his famous “Sixth Symphony” when he could no longer see the music he was making. And so many saints grew in holiness during the darkest moments of pain, rejection and exile. They all shone brightest “while it was dark.”

       I’ve been through dark corners and byways in life. I have kept watch through the long night of uncertainty and suffering, when the first streaks of dawn did not exactly mean a welcome sight to behold — when it did not matter whether I lived or died. As one writer once said, “It is always darkest just before dawn!”

       Mary of Magdala probably knew it. She got by with nothing more than an assurance and a promise. She kept the faith in the midst of darkness. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: When you’re in the dark, what usually helps you get by?

What promise of God do you hold on to?  Keep me company, Lord Jesus, as I traverse the dark alleys of my life.

St. Vincent Ferrer, priest, pray for us.

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