Easter Sunday - Year B - 5th April 2015

Rejoice and be Glad

Easter Blessings

Today's psalm, with its great theme of rejoicing and thanksgiving, is most appropriate for Easter Sunday. For truly, 'this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.'

After darkness comes the dawn. After trials comes success. After the pains of childbirth comes the joy of new life. Such is the story of human experience.

But never in all of history has there been a darkness like Good Friday where Jesus himself felt so abandoned, “My God, My God, why have your forsaken me”. Or a joy so exultant as Easter Sunday, where Thomas could not accept that Jesus was alive until he touched his friend and with renewed faith acclaims as “My Lord and My God”.

It is not surprising that the early Christian community quickly came to understand that the words of our responsorial psalm 'The Lord's right hand has raised me up ... This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes' as referring to Christ.

But the rising of Jesus from the dead was just beginning of the story. The angel told the women, "Go and tell his disciples and Peter." Spread the good news!

Today the world needs good news as never before. Over and over again in the gospel narratives, Jesus' followers are told not to be afraid. That's what the world today needs to hear. People live in fear. They need a message of hope, and we have it.

But can our message be credible? Only if we ourselves live as if we believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead.

Paul tells his converts who have just been baptized, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God."

In short he is telling them and us. Give up your old way of living. Love one another. Give up resentment and revenge. Go beyond greed. Be honest. Keep your promises. Live up to your responsibilities. Put the welfare and happiness of others before your own comfort and convenience. Break out of your self absorbed world and reach out to those in need.

By raising Christ from the dead, God our Father has conquered the power of death and opened for all of us the way to eternal life. Christ still lives among us as the cornerstone on which our Christian community is built. On this Easter day let us give thanks to God whose saving love has no end.

Fr. Kevin O'Shea, C.M.