Thoughts on the Readings for Easter Sunday (B) 2018

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040118.cfm  

There are several readings that can be used for the Mass of the Easter Vigil, as well as the various Masses on Easter Day in the morning/afternoon.  The readings above are those that are designated for the Mass on Easter morning. 

While the various Gospel accounts of the resurrection may vary somewhat in detail there are some common elements.   1. No one witnessed the actual event of the Resurrection; 2. Those who found the empty tomb were amazed and confused; 3. Ultimately the lives of those who encountered the resurrected Christ were fundamentally and irrevocably changed.   

In John’s Gospel (the last Gospel to be written) Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb, but did not enter.  This differs from Mark’s Gospel (the first Gospel to be written) where Mary Magdalene not only discovered the empty tomb, she entered it and encountered an angel who told her that Jesus had been raised.  She was then told to go and tell this to Jesus’ disciples and Peter.   Why this discrepancy?   Well it is possible they simply represent two differing memories.  It might also be possible, though, that by the time John’s Gospel was written Peter’s leadership role in the early church had been established and as a result John thought it fitting to accord him the privilege of being the first to enter the empty tomb.  Regardless of who first entered the empty tomb, the results as noted above, are the same: their lives were transformed by the resurrection of Jesus.   

Our first reading for Easter is taken from the Acts of the Apostles.   In it Peter addressed the household of Cornelius.   He is clear that Jesus has been raised from the dead and he and the other apostles have been “commissioned to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.”

In the second reading for Easter, taken from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians, Paul reminds us that:  “When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.”   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Why do you think there were no witnesses to the Jesus’ actual resurrection?
  2. What is different in your life because of Jesus’ resurrection?
  3. What is your image of eternal life?  
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