If We Believe and Follow Him, Then We Will Rise With Him

04-15-2022Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Pastoral Reflections In the cathedrals of archdioceses, such as our own and also in dioceses throughout the world and in addition, in monasteries and religious house chapels throughout the world, there are many, many “first readings” at the Easter Vigil. Parishes are not expected to participate in proclaiming all the various readings of the Easter Vigil, consequently we do not realize how subdued the scripture readings of Easter Sunday are compared to the solemn vigils of cathedrals etc.

Church Liturgists who design our Ceremonies and Services sometimes think “more is more”, but we all know in life that “the correct amount is the correct amount”; it is a foolish idea that excessive scripture readings make for a “better faith or church experience”. Our readings of Easter Sunday for every cathedral, church or chapel are simpler than the Vigil and are actually a clear expression of the centrality and foundation of our faith, namely the Risen Lord and that this special day has come. The responsorial psalm says it best: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24).

Our first passage describes Peter preaching to the Roman centurion Cornelius and also to his circle of family and friends the very fundamentals of our faith in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. He speaks of Jesus who went about doing good and healing and that He was crucified and raised from the dead by God on the third day and also that He was seen by witnesses. This is actually the basic formula of our faith which the earliest Christian community accepted and believed.

Our second reading, the passage from the letter from Paul tells us that we all have a part in the Resurrection. We all, in fact, have died and risen with Christ. That is the explanation for why the Resurrection makes an impact here and now in our lives today. We all are called to be people alive in Jesus Christ.

John’s Gospel recounting of the Resurrection adds lots of details. We see Mary who finds the empty tomb, but does not understand. She runs to tell Peter and John her shocking news. The two apostles go to the burial site and discover the garments of Christ have fallen down and that one is wrapped in a careful way. They do not know what to make of all this. It actually takes time and experience for them to come to understand this.

It is clear from the gospel passage that the Resurrection is different and now everyday life is different. Jesus has ascended to the Father and now heaven awaits us. He came that we might have a more abundant life.

Are we ready to accept and live the Resurrection of Jesus in our daily life in a more abundant manner? Do we recognize that ultimately our life is lived so that we live with God in heaven? The Death and Resurrection of Jesus assures us that we will if we believe and follow Him, we will rise with Him at the end of our earthly to eternal life.