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Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections Easter Sunday B April 5, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing.

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Presentation on theme: "Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections Easter Sunday B April 5, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections Easter Sunday B April 5, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM

2 1 st reading: Acts 10:  34 Peter proceeded to speak and said, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and (in) Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. 40 This man God raised (on) the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name." We focus on God raising Jesus.

3 1 st reading: Acts 10: God’s Impartiality  34 Peter proceeded to speak and said, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. Witnesses  39 We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and (in) Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. 40 This man God raised (on) the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. Commissioning  42 He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name." A simple outline!

4 1 st reading: Acts 10: God’s impartiality  34 Peter proceeded to speak and said, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. Commentary  In v.34, Peter, in his preaching (kerygma), declares that God has no favorites.  V.37 situates how God has been fair to everyone, in Judea (south) and Galilee (north), after John’s preaching on baptism.  V.38 continues how God has anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power.  V.38b shifts the subject to Jesus, who does good, and healing and exorcism.  The same verse gives a comment: God was with him.

5 1 st reading: Acts 10: Witnesses  39 We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and (in) Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. 40 This man God raised (on) the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  In v.39, Peter attests that they, the apostles, are witnesses to Jesus’ activities both in Galilee (country of the Jews) and in Jerusalem.  They attest that the Jews have put Jesus to death.  In vv , the subject shifts to God again. God raises Jesus up on the third day and allows him to appear to the apostles, who are God’s chosen witnesses.  The witnesses ate and drank with Jesus after his resurrection.

6 1 st reading: Acts 10: Commissioning  42 He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."  In v.42, we presume that the “he” is Christ. The subject is back to Christ.  Christ commissions the apostles to preach and to testify (give witness) that he is assigned by God as a judge of all.  V.43 includes all the prophets of old as witnesses.  V.43b indicates the benefit of believing in Jesus: forgiveness of sins (salvation)

7 Reflections on the 1 st reading  What is the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus?  For Jesus, it is new life. It is restoration to his original shape and even more, now he is invincible, not subject anymore to torture and death.  For the apostles, new life is no longer just following Jesus or learning his teachings, but taking responsibilities.  The apostles have to preach and give witness to Jesus’ victory over sin and death.  As Christians of today, after all the learnings and formation, how do we show to the world, to our families, to our officemates and to the people around us that we are responsible Christians?  Do we tell stories about God’s love for us or we just keep quiet about it?

8 Resp. Ps 118:1-2, 16-17,  R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. 2 Let the house of Israel say, "His mercy endures forever."  16 "The right hand of the LORD has struck with power; the right hand of the LORD is exalted. 17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD."  22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.

9 Resp. Ps 118:1-2, 16-17,  R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.  1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. 2 Let the house of Israel say, "His mercy endures forever."  16 "The right hand of the LORD has struck with power; the right hand of the LORD is exalted. 17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD."  22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. Commentary  The psalm is very appropriate for Easter Sunday.  Vv.1-2 exhort us to praise the Lord.  V.16 recognizes God’s power (over death).  In v.17, the psalmist declares that because of God’s power, he shall live. He promises to proclaim God’s wonderful works.  V.22 states the reality of Jesus: The rejected stone becomes the cornerstone.  V.23 affirms God’s wonderful works.

10 Reflections on the Psalm  We must praise God because he makes our day.  God is merciful.  God is powerful.  Everything changes when God works.  God has the last word, not death.

11 2 nd reading: Colossians 3,1-4  1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. The focus is on what is above.

12 2 nd reading: Colossians 3,1-4  1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. Commentary  In v. 1, St. Paul enjoins baptized Christians to set their hearts on what is above (something spiritual).  V.2 repeats the idea of v.1. Our attention should move from what is earthly (material) to what is heavenly (spiritual).  We must be keen on spiritual values.  V.3 gives the reason why: we have died in Christ (through baptism) and our life is with Christ…  V.4 states that at the end of time, the faithful Christians will appear with Christ in glory.

13 Reflections on the 2 nd reading  Christians who have grown deep in their faith must already have higher values (spiritual values).  They must set their priorities on the interests of God.  The interests of God are none other than truth, justice, charity, ethical life, and communion with his Son and on the community he established (the Church).  We Christians should not stay on a lower level in which the priority is putting more money into our pockets, more time and energy spent to satisfy our senses (stomachs), satisfying our base instinct, no sense of the above.  We should not remain materialistic, consumeristic and toxic in our lifestyle.

14 Gospel reading: John 20,1-9  1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him.“ 3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5 he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. 8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The focus is on the resurrection of Jesus.

15 Gospel reading: John 20,1-9 Discovery  1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him.“ Verification  3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5 he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Faith  8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead. A simple outline!

16 Gospel reading: John 20,1-9 Discovery  1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him.“ Commentary  V.1 begins the story of the resurrection. The first character to appear is Mary of Magdala.  She goes to the tomb before daybreak and sees the stone cover removed from the tomb.  In v.2, right away she reports to Simon Peter and to John.  She does not interpret well the removal of the stone.  She believes the body of Jesus has been stolen overnight (or perhaps it was transferred without their permission), for she says, “we don’t know where they put him.”

17 Gospel reading: John 20,1-9 Verification  3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5 he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.  In v.3, Peter and John immediately goes to verify.  V.4 indicates the speed of the two. John runs faster than Peter (older kasi).  In v.5, John bends down and sees the burial cloths left behind.  In v.6, Peter goes straight to the tomb and sees the same.  V.7 describes where the cloth is placed, etc.  Why all these details? Do they have meaning?

18 Gospel reading: John 20,1-9 Faith  8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.  V.8 indicates the entrance of John.  Now, the two are in the tomb.  John sees and believes (in the resurrection).  How about Peter? Does he now believe?  V.9 indicates that later on Peter and others will come to believe when they begin to understand the scriptures.  The scriptures (OT) is very important to develop one’s faith in the resurrection.

19 Reflections on the gospel reading  Diligence helps us to develop our faith.  First, we must have the diligence to respond to facts or reports and verify them.  Second, we must be diligent enough to read and interpret the scriptures correctly.  We put our personal discoveries and our learning from the bible and make proper conclusions.  We can develop our faith in the Risen Lord even if Jesus does not appear to us in person.  We must be able to make proper conclusions based on the signs of his resurrection.

20 Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm  The first reading speaks of the resurrection of Jesus.  The psalm exhorts us to thank God for his wonderful works.  The second reading speaks of our own resurrection in our baptism as Christians.  The gospel reading speaks of Jesus’ resurrection without describing how Jesus rose from the dead.

21 How to develop your homily / sharing  In this Easter Sunday, we talk nothing else than the resurrection of Jesus.  We do not allow any speculations how he exactly resurrected. Nobody knows.  Instead, we must diligently seek the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection, which is a matter of faith.  If we have faith, we can have a lot of meaningful conclusions that can change our lives.

22  The gospel reading simply describes the “Empty Tomb.”  The “Empty Tomb” (empty of Jesus’ body) is subject to interpretations.  Like Mary of Magdala, one would interpret it as a case of theft and robbery.  Like Peter and John, we would interpret it as not really empty, for the linens still remain there.  To go deeper, we must give ourselves time to reflect upon and seek the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection.

23  In the first reading, after many days of reflection and appearances of Jesus, the apostles learn the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection.  It is an act of God.  His resurrection is a call for the apostles to preach and to give witness to Jesus, who is victorious over death.  We, believers, must continue in preaching and giving witness to our faith in the Risen Lord.

24  The second reading deepens the meaning of the resurrection.  It talks about change of mentality and priority.  It talks about changing the value system.  As believers, we should not have anymore the appetite to what is earthly.  We should set our hearts and minds to what is spiritual.  We should not give in to our base instinct.  Instead, we should develop our taste for a higher value, that is spiritual value.

25  On Easter Sunday, we should truly celebrate Christ’s resurrection with festive songs. Alleluia.  Our liturgy should be reflective of this glorious mystery.  We should not allow this Sunday to be just one of the ordinary dull Sundays.  There should be no dull Sunday in the first place.  Liturgical ministers, choirs, mass presiders, wake up!

26  As Christian believers, we should participate in the Church’s (Christ’s) mission, telling people that we can rise from sin, suffering and death.  We demonstrate to others that now we have high aspirations.  We have given up what is trivial and superfluous and sinful.  We now use our churches to promote spiritual and liberating values, not anymore for other purposes, like selling our wares, money making or engaging in gossip or bloating our egos.

27  The eucharist is the celebration par excellence of the resurrection of Jesus and ours too.  The eucharist nourishes our faith in the resurrection of Jesus and makes it more meaningful.  The eucharist strengthens us in our mission, as we respond properly to the demands of our faith in the resurrection.

28 Our Context of Sin and Grace  Instruments of death  Meaningless lives  Too much data without proper interpretation  Information without formation  Laziness to discover, to move from one’s comfort  Inability to make judgment to make one’s faith grow  Immature faith, faith without responsibility  Intelligent Christians who can make proper conclusions to the signs of the times  Responsive faith  Happy Christians  Empowered Christians who are not ashamed to proclaim their faith  Christians who speak the language of the Church and of God

29 Suggested Songs  This is the Day  Wake Up Now My People  Where is this Jesus? (for reflection)


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