As Jesus speaks to Nicodemus we discover that our hope in Christ gives us the strength we need for our earthly journey. Whatever challenges we encounter in this life, we look to the Lord’s victory over sin and death to guide us to Heaven.
Mark’s Gospel offers three different occasions where the Risen Lord appeared to fourteen disciples: Mary Magdalene, Two on the road to Emmaus and the Eleven Apostles. In these encounters we see our own human need for the time and effort necessary to grow in our faith.
The first reading reveals the transformation to St. Peter as the resurrection of Christ takes hold of his heart. Casting aside doubt and fear, Peter proclaims the Good News in the face of persecution and trial…reminding us that as disciples we can draw upon the same strength today.
The readings today reveal the power of the resurrection to transform hearts and equip disciples to proclaim the Good News. Like the first Apostles, we have an opportunity every day to draw strength from the Lord for the task at hand.
Both Peter and Mary Magdalene reveal how Christ’s resurrection transforms our human weakness and empowers us for service in the world. We, too, are called to receive the grace of Easter into our hearts as the Lord takes the gift of our lives and equips us to proclaim the Good News.
I continually marvel at the power of the Resurrection of Christ in the lives of the apostles. They are different people! Standing in the light of Easter, touching and speaking to the Risen Lord, they can’t go back – their lives are forever changed and empowered to proclaim Good News. Check this out:
1st Reading – Signs & Wonders performed by the Apostles
Psalm Response – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting!”
2nd Reading – John proclaims the Good News of Christ
Gospel – Jesus appears to his Disciples, and Thomas moves from doubt to belief
Note this: it wasn’t the miracles, healings, or teachings of Jesus that brought about this change. It was the resurrection; all these people who formerly followed Jesus are transformed into a new creation by the experience of the Easter. They are freed from fear and no longer bound by sin. Their lives are shot through with grace, mercy, peace, and joy.
I want this. I want this for every person I meet, for every person I know, and certainly for my own heart. To bask in the light of Christ raised from the dead – to know that God has built a bridge that covers the gap from our weakness to the glory of Heaven – is to live with a power and conviction that brings the Lord’s life to a world in need of Good News.
What needs to be healed in our lives?
How might we proclaim Good News to others?
How might we foster our faith in the Lord…and witness Easter joy?
Our faith is not a history lesson. Christ’s resurrection continues to bring change and renewal to our lives today. May we open our hearts to the Lord and allow Easter glory to shine in our lives.
Beyond the agony of the Cross and the sorrow of the Tomb on that first day of the week the message was proclaimed: He’s Alive!
And everything changes. This group of disciples – bound by fear and selfishness – are transformed with a new strength and conviction. Their encounter with the Risen Lord will empower them to face the obstacles of this world with joy and hope. They have seen the risen Christ…what is there to fear? They have embraced the one who has conquered sin and death – there is NOTHING that can shake their confidence in the light of Easter morning.
This same strength comes to us. Like the first disciples, we can turn to Jesus and allow his saving grace to renew us with a strength far beyond our own. We can claim a hope that sustains us in the midst of our challenges and struggles. The Easter sunrise brings light to the darkest corners of our hearts.
What in our lives needs to be touched by Jesus Christ? We are invited to boldly come forward, receive his resurrection strength, and face whatever this world presents with confidence: the victory of Christ enlivens us to travel through life with the conviction that the grace he gave his disciples continues in our hearts today.
May this Easter season be a time of transformation and renewal; a time where we embrace the gift of our lives with a new freedom and conviction. In the light of this Easter, may we follow the one who leads us from sin and death to the abundance of life…in this world, and the world to come.