Gospel Reflection: Easter Sunday

Reading I
Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
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.
We 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.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
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.
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.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Jn 20:1-9

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;
he 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.


My dear brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the great victory of our Faith – the Lord’s triumph over death! He has risen, He has truly risen.

In the First Reading, Peter gives testimony to Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and his household, of what he witnessed as a disciple of Jesus. He reminded them that Jesus’ mission began when He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, and how He healed and set the captives free because “God was with Him.” He also shared how Jesus revealed Himself after He resurrected to a chosen group of which he was a part. This chosen group had the privilege of sharing meals with the Resurrected Jesus and were commissioned by Jesus Himself to testify that He was the chosen one of God.

In the Gospel, we witness a captivating moment as two disciples hasten to the tomb of Jesus upon learning from Mary of Magdala that His body was missing. What adds intrigue is the anonymity of the second disciple, allowing us to easily place ourselves in his shoes – running alongside Peter in the urgent quest to verify Mary's findings. Upon arriving at the tomb, they discover the burial cloths undisturbed. The disciple who accompanied Jesus "saw and believed." In that instant, their minds flooded with the memories of Jesus foretelling His resurrection. Suddenly, it all made sense – this was the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to rebuild the temple in three days.

And so, my dear brothers and sisters, let us echo the words of today’s psalm: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” Our Lord Jesus triumphed over the death that once loomed over us, offering us the gift of eternal life through His death and Resurrection. In breaking the chains of death, He opened wide the gates of Heaven for us, granting us a path to salvation.

Yet, the beauty of this Easter message resides in its invitation for us to experience Heaven on earth at this very moment. Through communion with God and the sanctifying graces of the Sacraments, we can begin to experience the joys of Heaven in our daily lives. Let us embrace this Easter season as an opportunity to allow God’s grace to purify and sanctify our souls.

As we celebrate this Easter Sunday, let our hearts overflow with gratitude for the boundless love and sacrifice of our Lord. May this day be filled with thanksgiving as we reflect on the depth of His compassion and the magnitude of His gift to humanity.

Please be assured of my prayers before Our Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+ Bishop Schlert


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