April 1, 2018: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Read Pope Francis’ Easter 2017 message:
First Reading: Its 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm: 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 or 1st Corinthians 5:6b-8
Gospel: John 20:1-9
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God’s grace, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace. It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ’s brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: “Go and tell my brethren.” We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection. (654) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord Cycles A, B and C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
John 20: 19, 21, 26
The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included. The Hebrew word “shalom” expresses this fullness of meaning in its etymological sense of “completeness” (cf. Is 9:5ff; Mic 5:1-4). The kingdom of the Messiah is precisely the kingdom of peace (cf. Job 25:2; Ps 29:11; 37:11; 72:3,7; 85:9,11; 119:165; 125:5, 128:6; 147:14; Song 8:10; Is 26:3,12; 32:17f.; 52:7; 54:10; 57:19; 60:17; 66:12; Hag 2:9; Zech 9:10; et al.). Jesus “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God (cf. Eph 2:14-16). This is the very effective simplicity with which Saint Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and a mission of peace.
On the eve of his death, Jesus speaks of his loving relation with the Father and the unifying power that this love bestows upon his disciples. It is a farewell discourse which reveals the profound meaning of his life and can be considered a summary of all his teaching. The gift of peace is the seal on his spiritual testament: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). The words of the Risen Lord will not be any different; every time that he meets his disciples they receive from him the greeting and gift of peace: “Peace be with you” (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19,21,26). (491)
“God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34; cf. Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9), since all people have the same dignity as creatures made in his image and likeness. The Incarnation of the Son of God shows the equality of all people with regard to dignity: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28; cf. Rom 10:12; 1 Cor 12:13, Col 3:11).
Since something of the glory of God shines on the face of every person, the dignity of every person before God is the basis of the dignity of man before other men. Moreover, this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people, regardless of their race, nation, sex, origin, culture, or class. (144)
Communication unfolded the Resurrection. Expression of silent cues and verbal acclamations. A stone displaced, burial clothes not in use, neatly rolled up. Mary of Magdala arriving before the light of day, noticing the absence of the Lord conveyed to Peter and all disciples that will ever live the proclamation of Easter morning. All aspects of the narrative woven in communication, leading to belief. Entering the tomb or gazing in the shadows different experiences, the same reality.
How does belief roll away stones entombing, sheltering our lives from the reality of the Resurrection? Will we communicate the experience to accentuate rising to the call of Gospel living on all facets, not just our comfort zone precepts or trumpet call causes? Will we live as people not buried with the burden of personal holiness, but alive with action, communicating the positive, attentive, inclusive narrative of Jesus by our actions?
As we celebrate this Easter, may we realize and live with the awareness that women were not an afterthought in Jesus’ ministry, but integral, supportive and initial proclaimer of the Resurrection. Let us communicate that reality of our tradition as an Easter blessing to the realm of faith. Let us communicate with dialogue how the full inclusion of women and their gifts of the Holy Spirit could more fully proclaim the message of the Resurrection in our world today, so women’s gift are not sinfully wasted by patriarchal pridefulness. Jesus portrayed inclusion and we should model his directives inherent in the early tradition of the Church.
Crosses adorn our churches molded of metal, finely hewn wood, but the Easter Sunday reading from Acts expresses Jesus was put to death by hanging him on a tree. Do we idolize pristine crosses that translate to communicating faith we craft into neat confines, burring away jagged edges, challenging barbed edges that could prick our conscience to not live by the letter of the law but only embraced by love? Must we communicate verbally and non-verbally more about the splinters on the gnarly, weathered tree instead of the obvious trunk?
And by all means let us communicate the Resurrection with rejoicing and gladness. For if we are somber, frowning, unwelcoming, non-inclusive, judgmental, unworthily acting disciples with malice towards the “other” do we even communicate that the Resurrection even happened, we are forgiven and are to live with love? This is the day the Lord has made for us to communicate the Resurrection— Wow !!! A time to rejoice, be glad and everyday of our lives communicate that gift with sincerity and truth.
Individual Reflection: 1st Corinthians 5:6b-8
Stand in solidarity for refugees and migrants so their lives may have an essence of resurrection:
Share the link with ten friends and ask it be placed in your parish bulletin and website.
Family Reflection: John 20:1-9
Research the many cultural and religious influences on the word Easter to define the day of Jesus’ Resurrection? Why does the date for Easter vary from year to year?
Reflect on the word Alleluia, a word that returned on Easter but was missing from our liturgies for the Lenten season : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY38dM9ASaU
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born March 28, 2018 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.