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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for April 16

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

April 16, 2017 —Easter Sunday

John 20:1-9
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

On the first Easter, Mary Magdalene saw that the tomb of Jesus was empty and told the apostles. Peter and John ran to the tomb, hope rising in their hearts as they remembered how Jesus had promised that he would rise from the dead. Then Jesus appeared to Mary and to the apostles, bringing peace and joy. He has been bringing Easter hope, peace, and joy ever since.

Some years ago I spent several hours at the bedside of a dying friend. Ken’s wife and children were near him, telling him of their love, and praying for him. I recited prayers from the Church’s liturgy: “We have an everlasting home in heaven.” “The Lord Jesus says, today you will be with me in paradise.” As Ken took his final breath, we shed tears, but we also felt hope, peace, and joy.

That’s why Jesus rose from the dead: to give hope, peace, and joy even in the shadow of death. Jesus died on the cross to conquer death. He rose to give new life. Ken knew Jesus as Lord and God, believed that Jesus had died for him, and trusted that Jesus would bring him through death to eternal life.

We all will die. Nevertheless, like Ken, we can find hope in Jesus. Easter celebrates our belief that death is not the end of human existence, but birth to eternal life. The readings and prayers of Easter proclaim that Christ has risen, and that we too will rise. Christ has turned death’s darkness into the light of life. At the Easter Vigil, darkness disappeared as candle after candle flamed forth from the Light of Christ. So too, the darkness of sin and fear was vanquished as the joy of Easter spread from Christ to the apostles, and from the apostles to the world.

We remember Christ’s victory over death and we celebrate his Resurrection at Easter and at every Mass. “When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.”

 

             Read last week's reflection.