The Lord is Risen, Alleluia!
Sunday, April 21, 2019 Easter Sunday 1st
Reading: Acts 10:34, 37-43 2nd Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 Gospel: John 20:1-9
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
We see in that lifeless body of Jesus taken down from the cross the triumph of faithfulness, truth, and love. Faithfulness because his death was the necessary consequence of his total submission to the Father’s Will (Matt. 26:39); truthfulness because he was true to his nature as human and divine (Phil. 2:6ff.); and love because he did not just fulfill the Father’s will out of compliance but out of love for the Father and for humanity (John 15:13). Because Jesus died in faithfulness, truthfulness and love, his death is real triumph over death itself.
“Triumphant death” is an oxymoron, a compound of two contradictory words “triumph” and “death”. They are contradictory because humanity has always seen death as a loss. The incongruity of these two terms was most pronounced in Jesus’ time when death was frowned
upon as the worst form of defeat. Jesus’ insistence that “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it won’t bear fruit” fell on deaf ears. Not even Peter, the greatest of all the Apostles, understood it. In fact, Peter tried to dissuade Jesus from undergoing the Passion (Matt. 16:23). But Jesus validated his teaching by going through death and coming out of it alive.
In the life story of Jesus, “Triumphant death” is not an oxymoron but a bold proclamation of death’s utter defeat (1 Cor. 15:54). With Saint Paul we exclaim: “O death where is your sting; O death where is your victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55). Like Jesus we can now go through death and come out of it alive. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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