Reflections

EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 4, 2021

ALLELUIA–THE LORD IS RISEN
Greeting
Christ is risen, ALLELUIA!
With Christians all over the world
we shout this cry of joy today
as we thank our Father in heaven
for raising Jesus from the dead.
May the peace and joy of the Risen Lord
be always with you. R/ And with your spirit.
 
Introduction
Jesus our Lord is risen. Alleluia! This Jesus who was condemned to death, scourged and mocked and crowned with thorns, he who was jeered when he died on the cross, is risen and alive! Since that day God guarantees that his love is stronger than death. He also reassures us on this day: look to my risen Son: with him you are already rising from your pain and loneliness and wounds. With my Son and his Church your task is to lift up people from their miseries, to revive hope and joy and happiness until the day when you will fully rise to the happiness that can never be dimmed or taken away from you. Let the joy of the risen Christ light up your faces.
 
Penitential Act
It is time to cast off sin
and to rise with Jesus our Lord.
We acclaim him as our liberator from sin.
(pause)
 
Lord Jesus, you have changed our mourning
into joy and life and freedom:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
 
Jesus Christ, you have buried our sins;
you call us out of our tombs with you:
Christ have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
 
Lord Jesus, you have opened to all people
the gate to life;
you are the hope and light and life of all:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
 
Have mercy on us, Lord,
undo our past of sin
and make us rise with you.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Opening Prayer
Let us pray that the risen Christ
may fill our lives with love and joy
(pause)
 
Lord God, loving Father,
we acclaim Jesus your Son as our Risen Lord.
We thank you that in him
a new, risen life has begun for us
and a new dawn has come for the world.
We pray you on this day of joy:
Pour out his Holy Spirit on us too,
that we may become new,
free in heart and spirit,
and break for each other the bread of love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord,
who lives with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
 
First Reading: Witnesses to the Resurrection
Peter testifies to the reality of the resurrection: Jesus is truly risen personally and if we believe in the Risen Lord, we will be saved.
 
1 Reading: ACTS 10:34A, 37-43
Peter proceeded to speak and said: “You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”
 
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23.
R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. or: R. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia!
 
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.” R.
 
“The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.” R.
 
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes. R.
 
Second Reading: Risen with Christ
Christ’s resurrection has already begun in us, says St. Paul. We must continue to rise with him by letting him free us more and more, so as to share one day in his full risen glory.
 
2 Reading: Col 3:1-4
Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
 
Sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
to Galilee he goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.
 
Gospel Acclamation: 1 Corinthians 5:7B-8A
Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed;
let us then feast with joy in the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel: He Saw and He Believed.
Mary Magdalene and the apostles were upset to find the tomb empty. But first John, then the others, realized that Jesus was risen from the dead. Thus they strengthen our faith in the Risen Lord.
 
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.
 
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
In Easter Sunday Masses which are celebrated with a congregation, the rite of the renewal of baptismal promises is repeated after the homily and replaces the Creed.
The renunciations reject all that is against the covenant of love between God and his people; the promises renew our fidelity to that covenant.
The priest speaks to the people in these or similar words:
Dear friends, Christ is risen, and we rose with him on the day we were baptized. Since then, we are called to a new, risen life, until the day the Lord will raise us up to enter with him in the Father’s joy. Let this holy water come down on us like a life-giving rain that steeps us deeper into the life of Christ. May the Lord pour the flood of his love on you and may the Holy Spirit rejoice your heart.
 
And so:
Priest: Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?
All: I do.
P.: Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
All: I do.
P.: Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
All: I do.
Then the priest continues:
P.: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
All: I do.
P.: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
All: I do.
P.: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
All: I do.
The priest concludes: God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
All: Amen.
The priest sprinkles the people with holy water, while a fitting baptismal song is sung.
 
Intercessions
On the day of the Lord’s resurrection we celebrate his and our new, risen life. Let us pray to the Lord of life and say:
R/ Lord, renew us in your life.
Risen Lord, fill your Church to the brim with a deep faith in your resurrection, that all of your people may be alive with the joy of seeing how rich and meaningful their life is now, we pray to you, Lord:
R/ Lord, renew us in your life.
Risen Lord, for all the newly baptized, that the new life they have received on Easter may grow and inspire them to do good, we pray:
R/ Lord, renew us in your life.
Risen Lord, for those who rarely come to church and for those who have lost the way to church, that the feast of Easter may be an invitation to them to renew their faith and their life in you, we pray:
R/ Lord, renew us in your life.
– Risen Lord, for all people who are persecuted, for those who suffer from injustice and illness, that you hear their cries for liberation and raise them up from their sorrows, we pray:
R/ Lord, renew us in your life.
Risen Lord, for all our faithful departed, that they may now share in the life and the joy that you have promised to all who believe in you, we pray:
R/ Lord, renew us in your life.
Risen Lord, for all of us, that the joy the Blessed Virgin Mary experienced at the sight of her risen Son may deepen our faith in the resurrection and fill our lives with the peace that Easter brings, we pray:
R/ Lord, renew us in your life.
Risen Lord, in you life and love were stronger than death. Let your life in us bring us light, forgiveness and joy, now and for ever. R/ Amen.
 
Prayer over the Gifts
Father,
together we celebrate our new life
at the table of your Son
and we offer it with him.
Accept our joy and thanks,
and let his life and love
grow day after day in us
and in the community he saved.
Let the power of his resurrection work in us
to lift up our brothers and sisters who suffer.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
 
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
With great gratitude and joy let us give thanks to the Father, for he has saved us and made us new by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
 
Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer
As sons and daughters of the Father
through the death and resurrection of Jesus,
let us pray to him the prayer
taught us by our risen Lord. R/ Our Father…
 
Deliver Us
Deliver us Lord, from every evil
and grant us in our day
the peace which our Lord Jesus brought
to the apostles in the evening of Easter.
To make us into your new people,
keep us free from sin
and strengthen us in the trials of life.
Already in this life we wait for the happiness
of those risen with your Son, Jesus Christ. R. For yours is the kingdom…
 
Prayer over the Offerings
Exultant with paschal gladness, O Lord, we offer the sacrifice by which your Church is wondrously reborn and nourished. Through Christ our Lord.
 
Communion Antiphon 1 Corinthians 5: 7-8
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore let us keep the feast with the unleavened bread of purity and truth, alleluia, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Look upon your Church, O God, with unfailing love and favour, so that renewed by the paschal mysteries, she may come to the glory of the resurrection. Through Christ our Lord.
 
SOLEMN BLESSING
Priest: Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.
May almighty God bless you on this solemn feast of Easter,
and may he protect you against all sin.
Amen.
 
Through the resurrection of his Son, God has granted us healing.
May he fulfill his promises, and bless you with eternal life.
Amen.
 
You have mourned for Christ’s sufferings;
now you celebrate the joy of his resurrection.
May you come with joy to the feast which lasts for ever.
Amen.
 
May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.
 
Go in peace, you have risen to new life in Christ. Alleluia, Alleluia!
R. Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia!
 
Commentary
It is very inspiring to meet people wounded in their love and their life, whom we expect to be disgruntled and discouraged, yet who keep believing in love and the goodness of God and of the people around them. Today we meet in the Eucharist him who keeps our faith and hope alive in God’s goodness and loving concern: it is Jesus, our Lord risen from the dead. He went through suffering and death for us, and when all looked lost, all seemed in vain, he kept trusting in the Father and he rose from the dead. By the power of Jesus we too can rise to new life, to a feast of joy within us. We believe in the Risen Lord and in the resurrection he has brought us.
Also, today we celebrate life: the life of Jesus, as he rose from the dead, our life that is now stronger than death, stronger than all suffering and pain. Life makes sense and is worthwhile. It is very precious, and we have to bring life to one another and to our world: it must be a risen world in which there is joy, not fear, where justice and love triumph. Let us pray to the Risen Lord here among us that we and our world may rise with him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *