We Live in the Risen Lord

04-04-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

When we think about it, the beautiful verse we sing at Mass on Easter during the responsorial psalm - "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad" - certainly expresses it all. With the Resurrection of Jesus Christ all new life has begun. We now have a "New Creation". Our lives are now different and new because of the Risen Christ. How great it is to sing of this truth.

On Easter our first reading helps us find a definition and meaning of Christ's Resurrection. Peter and the apostles and followers actually had three experiences or feelings that define Christ's resurrection. They are: healing, reconciliation, and "new" wholeness. As a result, Peter then encourages those who listen to him to have faith in Jesus so that they also might experience resurrection in their lives.

Our second reading from the Letter to the Colissians written by Paul informs us that we should take delight in the fullness and newness of life that abides within us. Our fears and feelings of separation should now be things in the past. All the negative emotions of anxiety, dread, and apprehension should no longer afflict or concern us. We are indeed "resurrection people". We must recognize that the risen Christ is present in our own personal daily lives and we can now choose to live as people who truly have died and risen to new life in Jesus Christ.

We come to understand that the Resurrection of Jesus is how our full humanity is restored to us. This is why the Easter Gospel focuses more on the followers of Jesus than His own actual Resurrection and subsequent events. The good news of the Resurrection is that it is a beginning of a whole new way of life and living - our daily living and our personal lives.

Note closely that Jesus himself does not appear in these Easter readings, only the witnesses do. We hear about them. They are changed on the deepest level with the news of His Resurrection. We will come to learn all this in the Acts of the Apostles and also in the letters composed by Paul. At Mass today we have a choice between two readings as the second reading. Both readings give witness to the reality and power of the Resurrection and also both of them call for action. Faith in the Resurrection means more than simply an assent of the mind, it requires acting in a special way because of the Risen Jesus.

Because we do not find Jesus appearing as the Risen Lord in these passages, we may forget that He is where His witnesses are, for they live in Him. Because they now live as new people, they show us in their lives the Risen Lord.