Thoughts on the Readings for Easter Sunday (C) 2016

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032716.cfm  

This weekend we celebrate the great Feast of Easter.   Along with Christmas and Pentecost, Easter is one of the three great feasts of our Church year.   There are various readings that are used for Easter.  The readings cited above are those that are used on Easter Sunday morning.   The Gospel is taken from the Gospel of John.    On Saturday night at the Easter Vigil we have a series of readings from the Old Testament that tell the story of our salvation history.  There are also readings that can be used for Masses on Easter Sunday afternoon.   

While the secular world places greater emphasis on Christmas, from our Christmas perspective Easter is the greater feast.   The reason for this is that without Christ’s death and resurrection, his birth would not have the import for us that it does.   Further, it was Christ’s death and resurrection that allowed us to understand and appreciate the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost.    While there are several stories of Christ’s resurrection appearances, it is important to note that there are no witnesses to the actual resurrection itself.   Instead, the resurrection stories tell us what happened after Jesus was raised from the dead and how this impacted the people who experienced the risen Lord, Jesus.  

Our Gospel reading for Mass on Easter morning recounts Mary Magdala’s discovery that the stone had been “removed from the tomb,” and her running to inform Simon Peter and John of this.   Peter and John then discover the empty tomb. 

Our first reading for Mass on Easter morning is taken from the Acts of the Apostles.    It is the account of Peter’s address to the household of Cornelius, a new convert.   In a few brief sentences Peter summarizes Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and the commissioning of his disciples to “preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.”  

Our second reading today is taken from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.  Paul uses the analogy of yeast to remind us that we need to celebrate Easter with the new yeast “of sincerity and truth” and not the old yeast of “malice and wickedness.” 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Why doesn’t Easter get the notice that Christmas does? 
  2. What is your favorite account of one of Jesus’ appearances after his resurrection?  
  3. Do you have any Easter traditions?   Do they actually relate to the Feast of Easter?   
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