Jesus has risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! He resurrected as promised in the scriptures that He should rise from the dead (Jn 20:9). The Bible, particularly the Old Testament Scripture, was written thousands of years ago. In it, the Messiah was prophesied to die and to rise from the dead. It was the fate of the Messiah. It was the mission of the Son of God sent to save humanity. Jesus knew very well God’s plan for Him. Indeed, He trembled in anguish in the garden of Gethsemane at the thought of dying on the cross. Yet He gained strength not only from the grace of God but also from the promise that He would rise from the dead on the third day. It was part of His mission to rise again. And He did it. God did not forget His promise. Jesus did rise from the dead to share His divine life with those who believe in Him.
Today, we are exhorted by Jesus Christ to rise with Him to new life. He has the authority to exhort us because He experienced death to His humanity and resurrection to glorious life. He also has the power to exhort us because He is God. This invitation by Jesus to new life is a grace given to us in this Easter Season. What a great gift God is offering us with this new life as a child of God in Jesus Christ. But we can only avail of this gift if we die of our sinfulness and selfishness. We must first get rid of our wicked deeds and ways and then humble ourselves by asking forgiveness for our sinfulness to those whom we have hurt and wronged especially to God. We must avail of God’s mercy and forgiveness, especially in the sacrament of Penance. Finally, we must commit ourselves again to loving God and serving our neighbor as taught by Jesus.
We must rise also. Indeed, it is normal for us weak human beings to commit mistakes and sins. But we cannot remain fallen. A real Christian is just like Jesus who rose again. He must rise again every time he falls. Now all of us have fallen because of our weaknesses and sinfulness. But we must rise again. It is sometimes easier to just lie down in our weaknesses and sinfulness than to rise again and walk. But we can never reach our destination which is Heaven if we do not stand up and walk. Now we must not worry because we are not alone. God accompanies us through His graces. He never leaves us alone. He grants us the courage and strength to rise again. We must only believe in Him and, admitting that we are weak and we need His assistance, we must ask His help. Certainly, with God, we can do all things. Without Him, we cannot do anything.
Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. His rising from the dead is not only His victory but also our victory. Without Him rising from the dead, we cannot also rise from our sinfulness. The risen Lord has shared with us His divine life so much so that we are now empowered to rise again and walk into new life. We are now strengthened to reject temptations and sins and to live in His grace in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. We are now animated to love God and serve our neighbors. And we are now revitalized to forgive those who have wronged us and to love our enemies.
As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ during this Easter season, let us commit ourselves to rise again and to always rise every time we fall. Let us obligate ourselves to be active in our parish churches for wherever the Catholic Church is, there is Jesus Christ. And let us always entrust ourselves to Mary, the mother of Jesus, so that she may also form us the way she formed her only begotten Son. Mary, our Mother, pray for us and always help us to rise again and again.
EASTER SUNDAY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION
(White) Cycle C/Year II (April 17, 2022)
Acts 10:34a, 37-43/Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8/Jn 20:1-9