Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014
Acts 10: 34a,37-43 ~ Psalm 118 ~ Colossians 3: 1-4 ~ John 20: 1-9
Today in many Christian ethnic cultures, people greet each other with the words, "Christ is risen!"and will receive the response "He is risen indeed!" Perhaps we are so accustomed to hearing these familiar words that we do not grasp fully the meaning of this extraordinary event and its implications for each of us who call ourselves followers of the crucified and risen Christ.Peter's speech in Acts proclaims that God was with Jesus who was hung upon a tree. Left there to die the death of a criminal, Jesus expressed exquisite trust in Abba even though all that was around shouted out "You are alone - you are abandoned." But Jesus trusted even though he felt as if even God had abandoned him. What we see in this Easter event is the reality/mystery that God will never be outdone in generosity. God received the exquisite trust of Jesus and transformed it into new life.
Today's gospel presents the empty tomb but with no reassuring appearance of the risen Christ. In it, Mary of Magdala, Peter and "the disciple whom Jesus loved" model for us our journey from unbelief to full-bodied faith. Mary comes in darkness – in John, a symbol of unbelief–to minister to the body of her dear friend. Finding the stone rolled back and the tomb empty, she runs to tell the disciples of this grave robbery. Peter and the "beloved disciple" race to the tomb looking for they know not what. They come to some belief but its deeper meaning eludes them.
We who have been knit to Christ in our baptism have been plunged into this mystery of death and resurrection. In our dying with Christ we are learning, sometimes, often times slowly, to entrust ourselves completely into the embrace of our loving and compassionate God. As we rejoice with Christ and what his Abba has done for him, we might well ask for the ability to recognize those areas of our lives where we "hedge our bets" and do not entrust ourselves as Jesus did. God is just waiting to take these and transform them into new and vibrant life.
Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
|| Sr. Jean Flannelly, SC
(After more than 25 years preparing men and women for ordained
and lay ministry in the Church, Sister Jean became the Director of Faith
Formation in a parish. Currently, she serves as Executive Director for Mission at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, NY)
Earth Day, April 22, 2014
We stand strong together in a place of risk and promise, aware of Creation's transformative energy of which we are a part.
- from the 2011 SC Assembly Direction Statement
Each aspect of creation, drawn to be itself, yet in relationship with others, brings forth the richness, diversity and complexity of the Web of Life….
Jesus' passion, death and resurrection, the Paschal Mystery, so much a part of my Catholic belief, is made more real in the ongoing story of the Universe where new life and possibilities arise out of death and extinction. My story, others' stories, the Universe Story are rooted in the Paschal Mystery….
We read in our Scriptures: "See, I am doing something new!" (Isaiah 43:19) and in John 14:12, "If you have faith in me, you will do my works and even greater."
How do I / we believe in our God-given" capacity to create the world anew?
What are some ways we participate with God and God's ongoing Creation in bringing forth new life? In creating the world anew?
We "go forth to meet our grace" as St. Elizabeth Ann Seton reminds us, called by the God of the Future to co-create new life and love inventive unto infinity. We live in hope with the ever present compassionate, gentle and merciful God among and within us.
|| Sr. Carol DeAngelo, SC
(Sr. Carol directs the Congregation's Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation, and gives talks and retreats to deepen awareness of God's gift of creation.)