Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

My audio of this reflection is podcast at:

Good News Reflection
April 12, 2009
Easter Sunday, Cycle B
The Resurrection of the Lord

Readings for Easter Morning:
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8
John 20:1-9 or Mark 16:1-7 or Luke 24:13-35

Celebrate! This Sunday is the anniversary of the Great Surprise, and just as the first disciples were surprised to find the tomb empty, so too does God have some resurrection surprises ready for you!

In Easter Sunday's Gospel reading, there's a lot of scurrying around and excitement and reporting some amazing news that no one yet understands. Even though Jesus had given them advance notice that he would rise again after being put to death, God's plans took them by surprise. They did not expect a resurrection. They didn't understand that it was a necessary part of the Messiah's mission.

God's plans often take us by surprise. In so many situations of our lives, we don't understand that hard times are going to produce wonderful victories. We fail to realize that the empty tombs in our lives (the losses that we grieve) are beginnings of important new growth. We cannot imagine how Jesus is going to redeem bad times into great blessings.

We suffer through the hardships, just trying to cope, waiting for an opportunity to finally walk away from our crosses. Meanwhile, Jesus wants to give us an Easter morning because of the crosses.

How can we recognize the glory of God when we're depressed? How can we realize our resurrections when we're cursing our crosses? It's impossible!

To be the Easter people that we're supposed to be, we have to learn how to see the hope of resurrection in the pain of the cross. We have to trust that Jesus is always there, working a plan to redeem bad into good. We have to allow ourselves to be surprised by God.

Questions for Personal Reflection:
What trials are you still enduring? What cross are you still carrying? Are you still being nailed for something you did not do? Which of your desires or dreams are dying? Ask the Father to use your sufferings for the glory of his kingdom. What new life is this creating for you?

Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
What are some of the ways in which God has surprised you? How is this an experience of resurrection?

© 2009 by Terry A. Modica
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