The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.
|In other years: St Anselm (1033 - 1109)|
Anselm was born in Aosta, in northern Italy, and became a monk of Bec in Normandy, where he taught theology and devoted himself to the spiritual life. After some years as abbot, he succeeded his master Lanfranc as archbishop of Canterbury. His bitter disputes with the kings of England over the independence of the Church resulted in his twice being exiled. He died at Canterbury on 21 April 1109. He is remembered for his theological learning and writings, and for organising and reforming church life in England.
|Other saints: Saint Maelrubha (642-722)|
St Máelrubai or Maelrubha was descended from Niall, King of Ireland, on the side of his father Elganach. His mother, Subtan, was a niece of Saint Comgall of Bangor. Maelrubha was born in the area of Derry and was educated at Bangor.
In 671 he sailed from Ireland to Scotland with a group of missionary monks. For two years he travelled around the area, chiefly in Argyll, perhaps founding some of the many churches still dedicated to him.
In 673 he settled in Pictish territory in the west of Ross opposite the islands of Skye and Raasay, at a place which became known as Applecross, from the Gaelic “A’ Chomraich”, ‘The Sanctuary’. He founded a monastery there and from that base set out on missionary journeys: westward to the islands of Skye and Lewis, eastward to Forres and Keith, and northward to Loch Shin, Durness, and Farr.
He died in 722. Some traditions say that he was martyred but their historical foundation is uncertain.
|Today's Gospel: Why Peter went first|
The other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground… but did not go in.
It is possible – and wise theologians have done it – to read into this passage a typological statement about Peter, as founder of the Church; and indeed there is nothing wrong in this. But at the more literal and more human level there is also material for reflection.
We all see the events from Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning in a distorted perspective. We can’t not, because we know what happened at Easter. Imbued with the story of Jesus’ rising on the third day, we inevitably think in terms of his being dead and buried for three days. That is an anachronistic viewpoint. Viewed through the eyes of anyone who lived through those days, Jesus was dead and buried for ever, until something new and unimaginable happened.
The situation on Holy Saturday, as far as the disciples knew, was not that Jesus going to rise tomorrow but that that he was dead and would never rise again. This Gospel moment on Easter Sunday has to be understood in the same sense. What was in John’s mind as he ran? He knew that the most perfect and Godlike man had been humiliated and destroyed in the worst way imaginable, because he had seen it happen. Now he was embarking on the journey of mourning by enacting his grief and paying his respects. And as he approached the tomb, he saw that something had happened.
Stop there for a moment, remembering to forget the Resurrection, and think what that ‘something’ could have been. What could possibly have happened, except something bad? Primitive societies show extreme respect for their enemies’ dead. If their enemies cannot retrieve those bodies then they bury them themselves, according to their own rites or according to as close an approximation to the enemy’s rite as they can manage. But the Jews and the Romans were not primitive but civilised. They had no superstitious taboos about death. So if the tomb was disturbed, it could only be that Jesus’ executioners had decided that death was not enough for him – that the one they had humiliated and spat on in life had to be desecrated in death also.
That is what John ran towards, and then stopped because he could not bear to see it. It was Peter, the impulsive, the unthinking, who went on and, looking in, found the world turned upside down.
|40 Days and 40 Ways: Easter Sunday|
Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. (Jn 20:8-9)
Ac 10:34, 37-43
Peter was speaking to Cornelius. Cornelius was the Roman centurion who already reverenced God and had had a vision that he should invite Peter to come and instruct him. Peter shows that Jesus was a real human being. He went about, bringing God’s peace to everyone he could meet. nevertheless, he was executed as a criminal. So God reacted by raising him from death to a life that was totally new. This was the fulfilment of all the promises made to Israel, bringing to completion God’s plan in creation. Life moved into a new gear. Peter expresses this, that God has appointed the Risen Jesus to judge the living and the dead. The Jews expected that at the end of time, at the completion of all things, God would come to set everything to rights, to judge things according to their true worth. now Peter says that Jesus is the one who will be this judge. Jesus is the Lord who will bring all things to completion and to judgement. By his rising from the dead Jesus comes to this position of supreme authority over the whole world. Paul put it that he was “constituted Son of God in power” by the Resurrection. Do I really believe that Jesus is “Son of God in power” by his Resurrection? Do I act as though I believe it?
Col 3:1-4 (alternative second reading 1 Co 5:6-8)
This reading is the visible tip of an iceberg, of which much more lies below the surface! Paul here tells us that all our interest must be in heavenly things, the things of Christ, because we share Christ’s life. What is more, that life is no ordinary life. What does all this mean? We share Christ’s life because faith in Christ means that we put all our trust and hope in Christ. We have been baptised into Christ, that is, by baptism we have been dipped into Christ as into a river, and come up soaked with Christ, or dripping with Christ. I am growing into Christ, share his inheritance, his status as Son of God. The well-spring of my life is no longer the ordinary, natural life which enables me to live, breathe, digest, feel, see, sing and play, love and hate. It is the Spirit of Christ which spurs me to generosity, service, kindness, self-control, peace and openness. This life, says Paul, is still hidden, and will be fully manifested only at the coming of Christ. But if I am to be true to my profession of faith in baptism, the principles on which I operate must be those of this risen life of Christ. What should I do this Easter to prove to myself that I live with the new life of Christ?
There are several accounts in the various Gospels of the discovery of the empty tomb. The slight variations between them show all the marks of oral tradition, for in genuine oral tradition each ‘performance’ is different. Different people tell the story slightly differently, stressing different aspects. This story stresses the proof that the tomb really was empty, for the apostles examine the evidence carefully. Other accounts concentrate less on the evidence and more on the message, that they will meet the Risen Lord in Galilee. It was important to establish that the tomb was empty, to prevent the charge that the meetings with the Risen Christ were simply ghost appearances. Apart from the proof that this was a real, living and bodily person, these meetings stress two factors, the power of the Risen Christ and the commission given to the disciples. They are to go out into the whole world and spread the message, always accompanied by and strengthened by Christ himself. In this account Simon Peter is clearly the senior, authority figure, to whom the Beloved Disciple defers. But it is the love of the Beloved Disciple which immediately brings him to faith.
1. If Jesus were not risen, how would my life be different?
2. What is the best way in which I can “proclaim the Good news” of Christ’s Resurrection?
Be sure that your greetings show the joy of the Risen Christ.
This passage is an extract from the booklet “40 Days and 40 Ways” by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB, published by the Catholic Truth Society and used by permission. “40 Days and 40 Ways” has meditations for each day in Lent. To find out more about the booklet, or to buy it, please visit the CTS web site.
The Universalis Readings at Mass page shows the readings for today’s Mass.
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||(1 Corinthians 15:3-5) ©|
Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; he was buried; and he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures. He appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Ephesians 2:4-6 ©|
God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ – it is through grace that you have been saved – and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Romans 6:4 ©|
When we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.