Meditations and Prayers for Lent and Easter

The Resurrection of Jesus

by Victor Hoagland, C.P.
Mt 28; Mk 16; Lk 24; Jn 20
They put him to death, hanging him on a gibbet; but God raised him to life on the third day, and allowed him to be clearly seen, not by the whole people , but by witnesses whom God had chosen in advance - by us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead." Acts 10:39-41

Jesus ChristPeter, like other eyewitnesses, hardly contains his surprise as he relates his story to anyone he meets after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus raised from the dead! Only God could have done this after the cruel death that seemed to end everything. Appearing to his disciples, most of whom had abandoned him, Jesus proclaimed God’s forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.

Like others, Peter had gone to the tomb and found it empty. Then, sometimes with others— as with the disciples in the Upper Room — and sometimes alone — as on the lakeshore in Galilee — he saw and spoke, ate and drank with Jesus himself. The practical disciple had no doubts — Jesus was alive.

The women at the tomb early Easter morning were the first to know, it seems. Perhaps because, standing their ground beneath the cross, they were the last to give up hope. Soon even the most doubtful, like Thomas, were convinced. No, it was not a ghost or their imagination. They could touch his wounds with their hands.

The gospels do not describe Jesus coming forth from the tomb. They only report his meetings with his disciples, now one, now them all. In turn, the disciples, burning with overpowering belief, told others. And so generations of believers have met the Risen Jesus too because of their words and witness.

“He disappeared from before our eyes, that we might find him in our hearts,” St.Augustine said of our Risen Lord. Why envy those who saw him? Who knew him face to face? Shall we not meet him by faith in our hearts? Can we too not say with them:

“On the third day he rose again.”
Tell us, Mary, what did you see
that early morning
on your way?

“I saw his tomb,
I saw the glory of Christ,
now risen,
angels who gave witness.
I saw the cloths
that covered his head and body.
I heard him speak my name
and turning, saw he was alive
At daybreak
I came weeping to the garden
for the one I lost.
But now, the Sun risen,
it was paradise,
and I, a new Eve,
had news of life for all the living.”

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May the Passion of Jesus Christ Be Always in Our Hearts

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