April 8, 2012 – The Resurrection of the Lord
Today we celebrate the greatest feast of the liturgical year – the greatest event in all of history – Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
He became the paschal victim. He who was sinless took upon Himself our sins, and He suffered the punishment for them – dying on the cross. By rising from the dead, He has broken the chains of death. He has opened the gates to eternal life.
“Oh death, where is thy sting. Oh death, where is thy victory?” (! Cor. 15:55) Christ has won the victory. He has taken the sting out of death. And so we rejoice, and we proclaim the good news to all the world!
In today’s gospel, John not only tells us of Christ’s rising from the dead, but he also illustrates for us how those who first discovered that Christ had risen reacted.
Most notably it seems is the “beloved disciple.” the disciple who is not named, in part because he represents all of us. Upon hearing of Jesus’ rising, he runs to the tomb. He is so full of love and anticipation to witness the empty tomb that he runs. Then, upon entering, after waiting for Peter, who represents authority, the beloved disciple sees and believes. He is the only one that this scripture passage identifies as believing immediately. His heart is so full of love for the Savior that it leads him to faith in the resurrection.
It is interesting to note that while his reaction is clearly explained by the writer of today’s gospel, the “beloved disciple” is not named. Scripture scholars believe this is because he represents all of us. He shows us how to react to the good news. In utter love and thanksgiving for all Christ has done, we run to him.
What’s more, as St. Peter tells the people at Cornelius’ house in today’s first reading, recognizing that Christ is risen, Christ has “commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that He is the one appointed by God as judder of the living and the dead.”
We are called to proclaim the good news, to preach the Gospel, and He’s given us many gifts with which to do so. We proclaim the Gospel by the way we live – putting Christ first and giving Him the first fruits of our time, our talents and our treasure. We proclaim the Gospel by using the gifts he had given us to serve others in love. And in so doing, we invite others to run to Him, to live as His disciples and to accept the salvation He offers.
This is a hefty calling – especially in this day and age. There is pressure all around us to cave to the ways of the world, putting ourselves before God and others. Yet, we recognize that we can never thank Jesus enough for what He’s done, and so, we do all we can. We give Him our lives and we shout the good news from the rooftops!
Christ has risen, Alleluia!