April 21, 2019


April 21, 2019:  Easter Sunday

See about two dozen connections with today?
Legend below

  • Hallelujah chorus, from Messiah/ Handel:  flash mob (ignore it's at Christmas), soulful
For Psalm 118
For next Sunday

This morning represents the perennial youth of the Church and humanity.  Christ, our hope, is alive and brings youth to our world.  Everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life.  Easter is the beginning of a new world, free from the slavery of sin and death, open to God's Kingdom of love, peace and fraternity.  Jesus doesn't abandon those facing hardship and sorrow.

May Christians in the Middle East persevere in their witness to the Risen Lord.  May the light of Easter illuminate their leaders and peoples and lead them to peace and stability.  Defenseless people are dying and families have been forced to abandon their homes.  May there be an end to bloodshed as people choose dialogue over force.  Parts of Africa are rife with tension, conflict, violent extremism, insecurity, destruction, and death.  Lord, sustain efforts towards peace.  May all commit themselves to reconciliation and the common good.

Lord, encourage initiatives of humanitarian aid and efforts towards lasting peace in the eastern Ukraine.  May resurrection joy fill all experiencing difficult political and economic situations.  Grant that all with political responsibilities may work to end injustice, abuse, and violence, and take concrete steps to heal divisions and offer needed help.  May the Nicaragua crisis have a peaceful negotiated solution.  Make us builders of bridges, not walls.  End the roar of arms.

May the Risen Christ open us to the needs of the disadvantaged, vulnerable, poor, unemployed, marginalized, and all who knock at our door seeking bread, refuge, and recognition of their dignity.  Christ is alive!  Be renewed in him.


  • Acts 10:34a, 37-43  Peter:  We saw what Jesus did.  They put him to death.  God raised him and let us see him.  He commissioned us to preach and testify God appointed him as judge.  All who believe in him will receive forgiveness of sins.
  • Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23  "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad."  His mercy endures forever.  I shall live and declare the Lord's works.  The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
    More "empty tomb" art
  • Col 3:1-4  If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above.  Your life is hidden with Christ.  When Christ appears, you will appear with him in glory.
  • 1 Cor 5:6b-8  Clear out the old yeast, so you may become fresh dough.  Christ has been sacrificed.  Let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast of malice and wickedness but the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
  • Jn 20:1-9  Mary of Magdala saw the stone removed, ran to Peter and the disciple Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord, and we don’t know where they put him.”  The other disciple arrived first; he saw the cloths but didn't go in.  Peter arrived and went in; then the other one entered and believed.
  • Lk 24:13-35  Two of Jesus' disciples going to Emmaus were conversing; Jesus drew near but they didn't recognize him.  They told him, "Jesus was a prophet.  We'd hoped he'd be the redeemer, but our chief priests had him crucified.  Some women at the tomb didn't find his body; angels told them he was alive.  Others found things just as they described."  Jesus interpreted to them what referred to him in Scripture.  They urged him to stay.  While he was there, he said the blessing and gave them bread.  Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished.  They said, "Our hearts were burning while he opened Scripture to us!"  They returned, found disciples saying, "The Lord has truly been raised!," and recounted what happened.
  • CreightonLike the other apostles, Peter was scared and discouraged; it took repeated manifestations of the risen Lord, and Pentecost, for him to speak with the courage we hear today.  His preaching belabors the point that we're witnesses that Jesus is risen.  Witnessing needed to be enabled by love and faith. Love was there, but Good Friday shook their faith. They hid, and some started to walk away, as the two Emmaus disciples did.
The same is clear in today’s gospel.  Love is alive enough for both disciples to run to the tomb, but their faith had been crushed; finding the tomb empty meant nothing to Peter.  The beloved disciple’s faith had also been shaken, but his love led him to remember Jesus' words.  This love awoke his faith. We need love and faith.  Faith is gift, but loving God and others can awaken it in us.  The Lord will tell Thomas, blessed those who believe without seeing.  More challenging than believing without seeing is believing against what we do see.  We see denial of the Lord’s values in society and even in our Church....
  • One Bread, One Body"Baptized into the risen Christ":  Jesus is risen! "Death has no more power over him" or us.  We're "raised up with Christ" and begin to live a risen life by being baptized into Christ's death and Resurrection.  Today the Lord challenges us to renew our baptismal promises; we proclaim our faith in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in whom we were baptized.  To live our faith, we must reject Satan, his works, and his promises.  To have faith is to believe in the divinity of Jesus, the Way to the Father, the One Who baptizes us in the Spirit, and to love his Body, the Church, serve sacrificially, and obey....
    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ/ Raphael
    More Resurrection art
  • PassionistWhen I see people come together to help people after a disaster or tragedy, I think, “This is Easter hope.”  We know what incredible things can happen when people come together and work for others' benefit, but we can still think “us vs. them” can bring life. Why do we still seek life among attitudes and practices that bring death?  We can still be seduced into thinking the point of life is to have as many “things” as we can.  We can get greedy and just see the bottom line, how much we can make right now, ignoring the consequences to those in need and the environment. Or we can let fear convince us we can only guarantee life for ourselves by denying it to others, or make sure they're imprisoned, held back, or shut out.  Or we put others down...  So when I hear the angels ask why seek the living among the dead, I'm not only joyful at God’s faithfulness but also challenged to trust in gospel wisdom over the world's fears and prejudices, to work in hope, to choose life.  When we work for justice and peace, we do as an “Alleluia people.”  When we're in solidarity with Muslims whose mosques are destroyed, or Jews whose synagogues are defaced, or churches burned down because the congregations are black, we are as an Easter people. When we look for ways to come together and solve problems, we're living in Easter hope, not seeking the living among the dead, but looking to what can happen when people see a common need.  May we follow Jesus in love and life.  Jesus has lifted us up and calls us to lift others up....
  • DailyScripture.net"John saw the empty tomb and believed":  John was the first apostle to reach Jesus' tomb.  Like Mary Magdalene and the other disciples, he wasn't ready to see it empty and hear the angel ask, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?"  When John saw the empty tomb, he must have recalled Jesus' prophecy that he'd rise again; by faith he realized no tomb could hold the Lord, the giver of life.  He saw and believed.  He had to deal with the empty tomb before he could meet the Lord later that evening with the other apostles locked in the upper room out of fear of Jewish authorities. John testified as an eyewitness to Christ's life, death, and resurrection, bearing witness to what has existed from all eternity, the "word of life," Jesus incarnate but also Jesus announced by the prophets and Jesus now preached throughout the church.  If Jesus hadn't risen and appeared to his disciples, we would've never heard of him; nothing else could have changed despairing people into joyful, courageous ones.  The resurrection is central to Christian faith. Through the Spirit, the Lord gives us eyes of faith to know him and the power of his resurrection.  Our greatest joy is to encounter Christ and know him personally as our Lord and Savior....
Dress legend
  • 'Tree' pin:  They hanged Jesus on a tree (1st reading)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar:  We ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead (1st reading)
    • 'Dove' pin:  God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power (1st reading)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "The Lord's hand struck with power; the Lord's right hand is exalted" (psalm); "seek what's above, where Christ is seated at God's right hand" (2nd reading); "our chief priests and rulers handed Jesus over" (1st reading)
        • 'Boundless mercy' button:  The Lord's mercy endures forever (psalm)
        • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  "Let us rejoice and be glad" (psalm)
        • 'Eyeball' pin:  It's wonderful in our eyes (psalm); "the disciples' eyes were prevented from recognizing him"; "their eyes were opened" (gospel)
        • 'Lamb,' 'sheep' tie bars:  Our lamb has been sacrificed (2nd reading); a Lamb redeems the sheep (sequence)
          • 'Mary' pin:  "Speak, Mary!" (sequence)
            • 'Heart' pin:  "You slow of heart"; "our hearts were burning" (gospel)
            • 'Angel' pin:   The women saw angels; angels attest to the resurrection (gospel)
            • 'Lightning bolt' pin:  Angel's appearance was like lightning (gospel)
              • 'Stone' tie pin:  Stone the builders rejected (psalm); stone was removed from the tomb (gospel)
              • 'Runner' tie pin:  Mary Magdalene, Peter, and the other disciple ran (gospel)
              • 'Wheat' pin:  He took, blessed, and broke bread (gospel)
              • '?' tie pin:  Questions in Lk gospel and 2nd reading
              • 'Cross without Jesus' pin:  Jesus is risen! (all readings)
              • White shirt and socks:  Color of robes, angel's clothing, today's liturgical color

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