Reflection for Easter Sunday, 2024 Year B

Reflection for Easter Sunday, 2024 Year B

Apr 1, 2024 | Reflections

Easter Sunday is the greatest feast in the Church Year! The Resurrection is the basis of our Faith. Jesus is alive, and because He has risen from the dead, we also will rise one day at the final resurrection. His life, passion, death and resurrection are the most important events in all of history. Everything before was leading up to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. Death has been defeated and Heaven opened to us. So, Easter is the celebration of our Redemption.

According to the beliefs of great saints like St Gregory the Great, St Ignatius of Loyola, St John Paul II and others, Jesus would have first appeared to his Mother Mary. She suffered a spiritual martyrdom, whilst following Jesus throughout the Passion. We refer to her as Our Lady of Sorrows because she shared intimately in the sufferings of her Son. One can imagine with what joy she would have embraced Jesus, as He appeared to her very early on Easter morning. He would have healed her of all the interior wounds of the Passion and filled her with immense joy. No doubt she would have sent the holy women to the tomb, to witness the Resurrection. 

The early Christians who were Jewish, started to worship on the Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, instead of the Jewish Sabbath which was Saturday. Sunday is still the day set aside for worship in the Church. Jesus appeared to the Apostles and to more than five hundred disciples, after He rose from the dead. He ate and drank in the company of the Apostle and in His gloried Body could effortlessly pass through walls. A gloried body like that of Jesus and Mary is no longer subject to time and space. St Thomas Aquinas teaches in Summa Contra Gentiles, IV, 86 summarized:

“thus also will his body be raised to the characteristics of heavenly bodies — it will be lightsome (clarity), incapable of suffering (impassible), without difficulty and labour in movement (agility), and most perfectly perfected by its form (subtlety).

A glorified body will be able to travel enormous distances in an instant.

The prophets had taught about the resurrection and in around 170 BC in 2 Maccabees a Jewish mother and her seven sons, were tortured and died, rather than renounce their Jewish Faith. They put their trust in God and the promise of the resurrection of the dead. The Apostles were referred to by Jesus as witnesses to the resurrection. They together with St Paul, would preach everywhere that the resurrection is the central reality of our Faith.

Throughout our journey during this life, there will be sufferings and struggles, but Jesus knows how to bring good out of bad. For example, a sick child who has to be operated on, is in pain and frightened. But the parents can reassure the child because they know that the operation, as painful and frightening as it might be in the short term, will bring health and happiness in the long term. Each of us is like that child! The sufferings and struggles of our lives are the healing cuts of God’s scalpel. We are also like those parents because we know that if that cuts of the scalpel make us more like Christ crucified, they will also bring us to share in the glory of Christ resurrected. Through the trials of life, we learn to trust more in God, than in ourselves and in others.  People may let us down, but God never will.

It is very important to keep the Lord’s Day holy. Every Sunday of the year is a solemnity, a day dedicated to the cornerstone of our Faith, the Resurrection. This is why the Church has made Sunday Mass obligatory, to make sure we remember where we are going. To keep the eyes of faith, set on Heaven, as St Paul urges us to do. So, coming to Mass is essential, it is the foundation of all Christian practice. (cf. CCC 2181). Each Sunday should be dedicated to worship, prayer and family. I remember growing up in the country. Often after Sunday Mass, we would spend time together having a family picnic by the river or some other peaceful place and praying the family Rosary.

Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and we have to prepare the soil of our heats to receive this gift from God. These are three things we can do to grow in joy:

G – Gratitude.

A grateful heart silences a complaining tongue. If we are always complaining how will the Holy Spriit fill our hearts with joy? Let’s therefore start by being more grateful and thank God every day, for example, for our life, health and the great gift of the Catholic Faith.

P – Prayer.

Joy is the result of our relationship with Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is the one who makes Christ present to us. Prayer is just as necessary to our soul, as breathing is to our body. Daily Mass and devotions such as the Holy Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Eucharistic Adoration are proven ways to grow in the love of God and experience the joy of the Spirit.

S – Sharing.

Share your faith. Many are living in a spiritual void and feel interiorly empty. This is  because they don’t know Christ. Try and reach out to those around you and gently lead them to the only One that can make them really happy: Jesus. It could be as simple as a gift of the miraculous medal.  In addition, pray every day for the conversion of sinners.

So, let’s remember GPS: gratitude, prayer and sharing as sure ways to grow in the joy of the Resurrection. Praise be the Risen Christ, now and forever!