Gio, 09 Apr 20 Lectio Divina - Anno A
Act 10: 34a, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9
The day after Jesus died has been the Sabbath and the strict Sabbath rules prevent all works including walking a short distance. Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb on Sunday morning with the hope of anointing the body with spices. She encounters an empty tomb. She wants to communicate the message to others as quickly as possible. She becomes the messenger of the Resurrection. What Mary Magdalene has discovered in the darkness of the early morning on Easter Sunday is the most sublime truth of all.The Lord is Risen!
1st Reading - Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Assuming that Jesus’ crucifixion occurred in A.D. 30, Paul (Saul) was converted in A.D. 33 and came to Jerusalem from his preaching in Damascus around A.D. 36. What we hear of today is the inauguration of the mission to the Gentiles. Cornelius, a Roman centurion of the Italian Regiment, has had a vision and in this vision, an angel has told him to send to Joppa and summon a man named Simon who is called Peter. About noon the following day, Peter also had a vision in which he saw heaven opened and all kinds of animals, which he is told to kill and eat. Peter replies “Surely not, Lord! I have never eaten anything impure or unclean” so we can assume that the animals were considered by the Jews to be ritually unclean and therefore forbidden. The voice in Peter’s vision says, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This vision occurs three times and leaves Peter wondering what it means when Cornelius’ emissaries arrive. Peter accompanies the emissaries back to Cornelius and once Cornelius recounts his vision, Peter realizes the meaning of his own vision, saying “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” Cornelius has been expecting Peter and has called together his relatives and close friends; there is quite a crowd gathered.
Peter and Cornelius can be our guides here as we all begin to explore just what God’s victory over death in Jesus might means for us 21st-century folk. Cornelius was a righteous Gentile, a supporter of the local Jewish community who was deeply attracted to the practices and beliefs of Judaism.
2nd Reading - Colossians 3:1-4 This reading is a practical application of the teaching given in the earlier chapters of Colossians, designed to suit the circumstances that have arisen in the Colossian church. By His death and resurrection, the Son of God frees us from the power of Satan and of death. In other words, Christians have been raised to a new kind of life, a supernatural life, whereby they share, even while on earth, in the glorious life of the risen Jesus. This life is at present spiritual and hidden, but when our Lord comes again in glory, it will become manifest and glorious. Two practical consequences flow from this teaching – the need to seek the “things that are above”, that is, the things of God; and the need to pass unnoticed in one’s everyday work and ordinary life, yet to do everything with a supernatural purpose in mind. This means that those who try to seek holiness by imitating Jesus in His hidden life will be people full of hope, and after their death, they will share in the glory of the Lord: they will hear Jesus’ praise, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.”
Gospel - John 20:1-9 None of the Evangelists describes the actual resurrection itself, for it was witnessed by no one. The gospels and 1 Corinthians 15:4-7 witness to the fact of the resurrection, however, by the testimony to the empty tomb and the appearances of the Risen Christ to His disciples.
Jesus Resurrection should be understood from two perspectives. First, it is God’s vindication of the persecuted man Jesus. It makes the sense of the humiliation, tragedy, and scandal of the crucifixion. Second, the resurrection of Jesus has boarder implications as an act of salvation for humanity and the world. It facilitates Jesus’ exultation as Lord and Judge and promises resurrection and eternal life to all the faithful.
Pope Francis said in an Easters Homily, “Today we are invited to contemplate the empty tomb and to hear the words of the angel: Do not be afraid… for he has been raised. These words should affect our deepest convictions and certainties, the ways we judge and deal with the events of our everyday life, especially the way we relate to others. The empty tomb should encourage us to trust and believe that God “happens” in every situation and every person and his light can shine in the least expected and most hidden corners of our lives.
To celebrate Easter is to believe once more that God constantly breaks into our personal histories, challenging our ‘conventions’, those fixed ways of thinking and acting that end up paralyzing us. To celebrate Easter is to allow Jesus to triumph over the craven fear so that often assails and tries to bury every kind of hope.”
Pope Francis speaks of Easter:Brothers and sisters, let’s not close ourselves to the newness that God wants to bring to our lives! Often we are tired, disheartened, sad; We feel the weight of our sins and think we’re not going to make it. Let’s not get locked up in ourselves. Let’s not lose our confidence. Let us never give up. There are no situations that God cannot change.
Let us be encouraged with these words of the pope as we face the great fear about theCorona Virus.There is no situation that God cannot change!!!!
Jesus Christ is risen, he has risen indeed. Easter is forever.