If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory. (Col 3:1-4)
Today is Easter Sunday. We take up the ancient cry of the Church: Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia! (He is risen as He said, alleluia!)
It has been a long time since we have proclaimed that word. The Alleluia — as well as the recitation or singing of the Gloria — are removed from the liturgy during the season of Lent. One reason, quite simply, is that Lent is an extremely penitential season. We do not shout out praise when we are focusing on our sinfulness and the need to change.
Another reason is so that the joyous sound of Gloria and Alleluia may fill our hearts when they are proclaimed again on Easter. We should be filled with joy since we celebrate a great day, the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, effectively destroying death and restoring life for all of His people.
We all know that we will die. Because of the consequence of original sin entering the world, we all became corruptible and mortal. Ah, but St. Paul wrote so wonderfully in his first letter to the Church in Corinth:
Behold, I tell you a mystery.
We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed,
in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound,
the dead will be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.
For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility,
and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality.
And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility
and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality,
then the word that is written shall come about:
Death is swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?
Because of the consequences of the Lord’s resurrection, our corruptibility may take on incorruptibility and our mortality take on immortality. What a wondrous gift!
We may not understand that as well as all of its implications. Instead, I daresay, we are like the Apostles in today’s Gospel who peer in to the tomb, who see nothing but a burial shroud, and who walk away wondering what it all meant.
We may wonder what it means. If we pray to God, He will give us the understanding that we need. As we come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the resurrection of the Lord, we will find that we need to continue changing our lives, continue ridding ourselves of the things that keep us from the Lord, so that we may become more like Him.
A Blessed Easter to you and yours this day!
FAITH ACTION: Ask yourself — and take a goodly amount of time today to reflect upon it — what the resurrection of the Lord means to you.