Easter Sunday
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Easter Sunday

Easter of Resurrection Read more

Easter Sunday
Sunday, March 31

Easter of Resurrection

First Reading

Acts 10,34.37-43

Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really understand', he said, 'that God has no favourites, You know what happened all over Judaea, how Jesus of Nazareth began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil. Now we are witnesses to everything he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself: and they killed him by hanging him on a tree, yet on the third day God raised him to life and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people but only by certain witnesses that God had chosen beforehand. Now we are those witnesses -- we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection from the dead- and he has ordered us to proclaim this to his people and to bear witness that God has appointed him to judge everyone, alive or dead. It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness: that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name.'


Psalm 118a


Blessed are those who walk in the law of the Lord.

They are happy whose life is blameless,
who follow God's law!

They are happy who do his will,
seeking him with all their hearts,

who never do anything evil
but walk in his ways.

You have laid down your precepts
to be obeyed with care.

May my footsteps be firm
to obey your statutes.

Then I shall not be put to shame
as I heed your commands.

I will thank you with an upright heart
as I learn your decrees.

I will obey your statutes :
do not forsake me.

How shall the young remain sinless?
By obeying your word.

I have sought you with all my heart :
let me not stray from your commands.

I treasure your promise in my heart
lest I sin against you.

Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes.

With my tongue I have recounted
the decrees of your lips.

I rejoiced to do your will
as though all riches were mine.

I will ponder all your precepts
and consider your paths.

I take delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

Bless your servant and I shall live
and obey your word.

Open my eyes that I may see
the wonders of your law.

I am a pilgrim on the earth;
show me your commands.

Relieve me from scorn and contempt
for I do your will.

Though princes sit plotting against me
I ponder on your statutes.

Your will is my delight;
your statutes are my counsellors.

My soul lies in the dust;
by your word revive me.

I declared my ways and you answered;
teach me your statutes.

Make me grasp the way of your precepts
and I will muse on your wonders.

My soul pines away with grief;
by your word raise me up.

Keep me from the way of error
and teach me your law.

I have chosen the way of truth
with your decrees before me

I bind myself to do your will;
Lord, do not disappoint me.

I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart.

Teach me the demands of your statutes
and I will keep them to the end.

Train me to observe your law,
to keep it with my heart.

Guide me in the path of your commands;
for there is my delight

Bend my heart to your will
and not to love of gain.

Keep my eyes from what is false;
by your word, give me life

Keep the promise you have made
to the servant who fears you.

Keep me from the scorn I dread,
for your decrees are good.

See, I long for your precepts :
then in your justice, give me life.

Lord, let your love come upon me,
the saving help of your promise.

And I shall answer those who taunt me
for I trust in your word.

Do not take the word of truth from my mouth
for I trust in your decrees.

I shall always keep your law
for ever and ever.

I shall walk in the paths of freedom
for I seek your precepts.

I will speak of your will before kings
and not be abashed.

Your commands have been my delight;
these I have loved.

I will worship your commands and love them
and ponder your statutes.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 5,6-8

Your self-satisfaction is ill founded. Do you not realise that only a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Throw out the old yeast so that you can be the fresh dough, unleavened as you are. For our Passover has been sacrificed, that is, Christ; let us keep the feast, then, with none of the old yeast and no leavening of evil and wickedness, but only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 20,1-9

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,' she said, 'and we don't know where they have put him.' So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had still not understood the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


Such is their love that the three women of whom the Gospel writes do not abandon Jesus even when he is dead. Quite different is the attitude of the disciples ensnared by fear: they fled at the moment of Jesus' capture in Gethsemane and are now still locked in the cenacle. The love of those women is truly exemplary: not only do they overcome fear, but they also go beyond what is possible. Here they are early in the morning at the tomb with the spices to make a final gesture of love for their beloved Master. Entering, they do not see the body of Jesus. But immediately two men in white robes appear before them: "Why do you seek among the dead the one who is alive? He is not here, he is risen," they tell them. The two men announce Easter to them.
Yes, the Lord has not resigned himself to evil and the many forms with which he makes life in this world of ours bitter. After the pandemic, there are the wars. Truly darkness seems to have fallen upon the earth. But the Father in heaven - John's Gospel reminds us of this - loves the world so much that he sent his own only-begotten Son, to save us.
The two men, dressed in resplendent garments, immediately after the announcement of the resurrection, also exhort us with the words addressed to the women: "Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee." How many times, indeed, had Jesus spoken to his friends about the mystery of Easter, but they had not taken him seriously! And how many times have the same Word of God been spoken to us, and we too have forgotten it? Those women "remembered his words" that Jesus had also spoken to them, and immediately went to "proclaim" to the Eleven and all the others what they had seen. There is a responsibility to communicate this Easter to all. We are once again asked to communicate it too. Here is the apostle Peter who, on hearing the women - despite the unbelief of the others and partly his own -, leaves the cenacle and goes to the tomb. As soon as he arrives, he bends down to see inside and sees the cloths in which the Lord had been wrapped. They are the linen wrappings of love, the cloths of pity, the cloths of compassion, the cloths that wrap the many who are struck by violence. Those cloths that the Church and every Christian community spreads in the peripheries of the world to care for the bodies of so many poor, sick, elderly, children, foreigners, refugees, abandoned. They are the cloths of resurrection, the signs of the victory of love over abandonment. Easter asks us to multiply them by widening the space of mercy.

Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say. So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
 The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9: 3-7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!