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Scripture reflection: Rejoice!

 |  25 March 2018

Lectionary reading

First reading: Acts 10:34, 37-43.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 117(118):1-2, 16-17, 22-23.

Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 / 1 Corinthians 5:6-8.

Gospel: John 20:1-9.

Link to readings.

Introduction

I have journeyed with Jesus through Holy Week, in whatever way was possible for me. Now I come to share in the joy of my Risen Lord on this Easter Day.

The Gospel tells the story of Mary of Magdala, who goes to the tomb but finds it empty; she runs to the disciples to report her loss. Peter and John come to see for themselves. Finally they understand the meaning of Jesus’s words about ‘rising from the dead’.

Peter offers his personal witness: he has seen the life and death of Jesus, and eaten with him after his Resurrection. He now proclaims that Jesus is Saviour and Lord. (First Reading)

In the Second Reading, Paul stresses that this faith in the Risen Lord means we, too, have died, and been brought back to true life in Christ. Our life is now ‘hidden with Christ in God’.

The Psalm is a song of triumph, proclaiming the glory of God. ‘The stone  that the builders rejected has become the corner stone; this is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes’.

First Reading

Acts 10: 34,37–43

After finding some stillness on this Easter morning, I come to pray knowing that on this day my Lord has risen from death to life.

I notice what mood I am in, and ask some share in the joy of Jesus.

I listen to Peter as he addresses the household of Cornelius, witnessing to the truth of Jesus as he has experienced it.

What do I notice about Peter? His faith, his courage …? or …? What is going on in me as Peter tells his story? I ponder.

Peter tells Cornelius that ‘all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name’.

Gently, I allow the joy and wonder of being a sinner, yet utterly loved and wholly forgiven, permeate my mind and heart this Easter Day.

I share my thoughts and feelings with my Risen Lord.

How might I witness to the truth of Jesus to those around me, in words or in deeds? Perhaps I want to ask for a deeper faith, a greater trust …

or whatever grace I need to follow my Risen Lord more closely. I ask for what I most deeply desire.

I end my prayer slowly, in gratitude, expressing my thanks to God.

Gospel

John: 20: 1–9

I begin my prayer by becoming still in the presence of God.

I ask the Holy Spirit to help me enter more fully into the joy of the Risen Jesus on this Easter morning.

Reading this familiar Gospel, I may like to place myself in the story, going with Mary of Magdala to the garden tomb at dawn; noticing the early morning colours, sounds and smells; sensing all that Mary is carrying in her mind and heart.

What am I holding in mine?

Arriving at the tomb, the stone is rolled away. I see Mary’s shock and surprise as she looks in. Quickly she runs to find Peter and John.

Perhaps I run with her, or maybe I stay there quietly taking in all that is happening. I notice how I am feeling.

The two disciples come running and I watch as the truth slowly dawns on each of them: He is risen.

Gradually, I become aware of another presence; my risen Lord Jesus is gazing at me, calling my name.

Perhaps I speak with him.

Or maybe, there are no words; I simply rest in the wonder of his presence, allowing his joy to fill my whole being.

After a time, I end my prayer slowly, giving thanks...

 

Prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham

 

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