Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of the Lord
First reading: Acts 10:34, 37-43
Responsorial Psalm: 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second reading: Col 3:1-4, or 1 Cor 5:6-8
Gospel: Jn 20:1-9
By Kevin Perrotta
“You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).
Have you died?
I have. I can show you where it happened. It was in East Rutherford, New Jersey, decades before Giants Stadium went up. It was at St. Joseph’s Church.
There’s a black-and-white photo taken just after the event, with my mother (looking so young), a smiling Franciscan priest (Father Donald), and me, a little guy peering out of the folds of a white blanket.
I don’t live in New Jersey anymore. But a few years ago, I happened to be in East Rutherford for a day on my way to a pilgrimage in the Holy Land. I made a visit to St. Joe’s, said a prayer, and looked into the substantial stone baptismal font. “So this is where I died in Christ, all those years ago.”
In Jerusalem, our group went, of course, to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Inside is Calvary and the tomb where Jesus was buried. I realized, “These places mean something to me only because of that event in East Rutherford.”
If I hadn’t ever been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, why would I care about the historical sites?
As it is, I could never express how thankful I am that Jesus died and rose from the tomb, and that he drew me into it all those years ago at St. Joe’s. It means that among the mysteries of my life there is this one: My life is “hidden with Christ in God.”
I can’t imagine what it will be like to share in Jesus’ resurrection. But to live, in this dark world, in the light of that mystery has made all the difference.
Some people don’t like stories that don’t have a happy ending. A bleak ending elicits remarks like, “So what was the point of that?” or “Well, that’s depressing.”
Not me. I don’t mind an unhappy ending. If the story is dark, a dark ending seems more authentic.
But there’s one story I don’t want to have an unhappy ending. That’s my story, my life. I really want it to have a happy ending.
Isn’t that what each of us wants?
Today is the day for thanking God that Jesus died and rose to make it possible for all of us.
What does Jesus’ resurrection mean for you?
Perrotta is the editor and an author of the “Six Weeks With the Bible” series, teaches part time at Siena Heights University and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.