Readings: Acts 10:34A, 37-43.
Col 3: 1-4
Jn 20: 1-9.
It’s Easter! Alleluia! Rejoice! ‘You have been brought back to true life’. You are risen!
I seem to remember decades of catechesis and preaching which spoke a lot about the Passion and death of Jesus, elaborated on it and interpreted it, then mentioned the Resurrection with little comment and less interpretation. It was certainly important. It showed that God was pleased and, as it were, made up for the suffering. And, of course, Resurrection was something that happened only to Jesus, was uniquely his. In this area art did not help either, often suggesting resuscitation.
Paul, apostle and evangelist of the Resurrection, sees things differently. By creation and baptism we are ‘in Christ’. Our union with Christ is so intimate, so profound, that what Christ has done we have done. What is Christ’s is ours. His transformed life is ours. We are so one with Christ that Paul can say: ‘We have died with him and now we live the risen life of Christ in God’. Christ has died, Christ is risen – not only for us but as us. The risen transformed Christ is our life. Each of us can say with Paul: ‘I live now not I but Christ lives in me’. Or with the great mystic, Gertrude: ‘My real me is Christ’.
The Resurrection is at the centre of everything. It is a new creation. Is there an echo of the creation story at the beginning of the gospel reading? It is the first day and it is still dark, and we are in a garden (Jn19:41) but in the Resurrection the Parousia, the end time, has already dawned. Jesus is the first fruits, anticipating the final harvest when all creation will be one in Christ so that Christ is all and all is Christ. So the Resurrection encompasses the whole sweep from creation to final fulfilment.
Sr. Genevieve Mooney, O.P.