READINGS for 2006-04-15
Who will roll back the stone for us? ? Mark 16:3
My husband Celso needed to be brought to the hospital because he was feeling very weak, had lost a lot of weight, and was having a lingering pain in his stomach. Aside from worrying about his sickness, our problem was we did not have any money at all. I knew that the chief reason he did not want to go to the hospital was because of this. Family and friends kept prodding, but it was only after reminding him that we would just put our trust in God, that he finally agreed. I could not tell him that I was also trying to convince myself of this.
Did you remember to say thank you? For all those people who quietly gave... Thank you.
Genesis 1:1-2:2 (Or Gn 22:1-18; Ex 14:15-15:1; Is 54:5-14; Is 55:1-11; Bar 3:9-15.32-4:4; Ez 36:16-28)
In the seven readings (and their options) available to us for the celebration of the Vigil of Easter, we trace salvation history from the beginning of Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:2) to the present. We remember the covenant that God makes with Abraham and thus the beginning of the idea of the People of God, the Nation of Israel (Genesis 22:1-18). The Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 14:15-15:1) is a watershed in the history of the People of God and it sets them on the path to the Promised Land. We are reminded of God?s constant commitment of love to His People (Isaiah 54:5-14) and His promise to bring about His will in their lives (Isaiah 55:1-11) even against the highest odds. Baruch reminds us of the call to obedience to God?s Word as the source of life (Baruch 3:9-15.32-4:4) and Ezekiel tells us that God intends to place a new heart within His People (Ezekiel 36:16-28) a heart that will desire to know Him and be obedient to Him forever.
1 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. ? 3 Then God said, ?Let there be light,? and there was light. ? 4 God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. ? 5 God called the light ?day,? and the darkness he called ?night.? Thus evening came, and morning followed?? the first day. 6 Then God said, ?Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.? And so it happened: 7 God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. 8 God called the dome ?the sky.? Evening came, and morning followed ? the second day. 9 Then God said, ?Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear.? And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. 10 God called the dry land ?the earth,? and the basin of the water he called ?the sea.? God saw how good it was. 11 Then God said, ?Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.? And so it happened: 12 the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. 13 Evening came, and morning followed ? the third day. 14 Then God said: ?Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, 15 and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.? And so it happened: 16 God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. 19 Evening came, and morning followed ? the fourth day. 20 Then God said, ?Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.? And so it happened: 21 God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, 22 and God blessed them, saying, ?Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.? 23 Evening came, and morning followed ? the fifth day. 24 Then God said, ?Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.? And so it happened: 25 God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. 26 Then God said: ?Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.? 27 God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying: ?Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.? 29 God also said: ?See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; 30 and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.? And so it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed ? the sixth day. 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. 2 Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
P S A L M
Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4
R: Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
2  Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God? (R) 4  I went with the throng and led them in procession to the house of God, amid loud cries of joy and thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival. (R) 43: 3 Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. (R) 4 Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! (R)
There can never be a resurrection if there is not first a death! This is quite obvious when we think about it for a moment. However, it is not so obvious what sort of death we are talking about. Paul tells us that we have to die with Christ in the Sacrament of Baptism before we can receive the new life of the resurrection. This is a spiritual death whereby we leave sin behind us and embrace the call to holiness that is at the basis of the life of a disciple of Jesus. Let us enter into this death with a renewed commitment to our baptismal promises this Easter and so learn to live in the fullness of the power of the victory of the resurrection of Jesus.
3 Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. 5 For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. 7 For a dead person has been absolved from sin. 8 If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. 10 As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. 11 Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.
G O S P E L
The fundamental Easter proclamation is that Jesus has risen from the dead. The tomb is empty! Jesus is no longer there! This truth is at the heart of the Gospel narrative and kerygma. As we reflect upon its meaning today, let us open our hearts to any new revelation that Jesus desires to bring to us so that we will be drawn more deeply into the experience of the victory over sin that Jesus offers us in His resurrection. It must have been a terrible shock to those who saw the empty tomb ? however, as the truth dawned upon them, what a wonderful experience it must have been for them to allow the truth and meaning of the event to sink into their minds and hearts.
1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. 2 Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. 3 They were saying to one another, ?Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?? 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. 5 On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. 6 He said to them, ?Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ?He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.?? 8 Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
God?s special verse/thought for me today______________________
Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1Chronicles 23-26
EASTER BEGINS INSIDE THE TOMB AND
If you were given divine revelation that your departed loved one would come back to life tomorrow, would you stay up all night and eagerly wait for his appearance from the grave? Would you hurry to your departed loved one?s tomb early in the morning, even while it is still dark, to be the first one to see and welcome your resuscitated beloved? I don?t think so. I suppose, you would rather stay home, shudder even by the thought of the dead coming back from the grave, and hide yourself underneath a pile of blankets when you go to bed tonight. You would not want to have a date with a zombie. No matter how much you loved your departed in life, you would never want to see him in death.
Jesus, risen from the dead, make me rise with You. Lead me out from my tomb and let a new day begin for me and You. Amen.
St. Benedict Joseph Labre, confessor, pray for us.
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