First Reading: Acts 10:34, 37-43
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4
Gospel: John 20:1-9
This is the day the whole Church has longed for, the day of Easter joy. I rejoice as I settle down in my favourite place of prayer. To mark the occasion, I may want to have a cheerful visual focus: a few spring flowers for example.
I begin my prayer by placing myself in the presence of God and asking for the grace to enter fully into the joy of the risen Christ on this Easter morning. I read the prayer slowly, perhaps aloud, letting the words echo deep in my heart, staying with a word or a phrase I feel drawn to and, when ready, expressing to God the thoughts and feelings that arise in me. I feel that Easter joy stirring in my heart and I let it fill my whole being. I speak to Jesus, my risen Lord, as I am moved, perhaps thanking him for his gift to the world of new hope, new joy, new life.
The risen Lord opened the eyes of his disciples to what had taken place. Perhaps I want to ask him to open my eyes, and to lead me to deeper faith in him so that I may follow him in his risen life. I ask for what I most deeply desire.
I take a moment to decide what I want to ask the Lord for on this Easter morning. Am I prepared to be surprised by something that I had not noticed before?
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 117
This week and throughout the Easter season, to express my deep interior joy, I might like to begin and end my prayer with the Hebrew word of praise and rejoicing in the Lord: ‘Alleluia’!
I read this psalm slowly, repeating each line on my breath several times. I stay with and savour a line which ‘speaks’ to me more particularly. I reflect on the many ways the Lord has shown his goodness to me. I take comfort in the certain knowledge that his love has no end. No matter what I do, have done or will do, the Lord loves me. With the Lord, the world is turned upside down; the rejected, the marginalised, the less than perfect are brought to the fore and become key members of society.
I speak to the Lord about what this means to me. I bring to him the people in my life whom the ‘builders have rejected’, and entrust them to his care. I end my prayer with the psalmist cry of joy:
This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 20:1-9
Mary of Magdala loved Jesus so dearly that she could not wait until daylight to visit his tomb. When she discovers that he is no longer there, she seeks the help of Simon Peter and John. They too are confounded, but when John finally enters the tomb, what he sees there triggers something in his understanding, and he now believes that Jesus has risen from the dead.
I look at the three people in this hectic scene of fear and confusion. I try to be with them as they struggle to understand where the body of their beloved friend has gone.
Who do I feel most drawn to? Who do I most resemble?
The one who even in ’darkness’ hurries to meet ‘The Beloved’?
The impetuous one who rushes in?
The one who hesitates and holds back?
Where does my love drive me? Who is the one whom my soul seeks?
I let the Holy Spirit lead me in prayer as I speak to my risen Lord from the heart.
Reflections from www.pathwaystogod.org from the Jesuits in Britain.