Easter Sunday

Engaging Faith | Wed, Apr 4, 2012

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

Lectionary reflections for Easter Sunday 2012.

Easter Sunday

April 8, 2012


   Acts 10:34a, 37-43
    Colossians 9 3:1-4  or  1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
    John 20:1-9 or Mark 16:1-7 or Luke 24:13-35


April 7: Holy Saturday
April 7: World Health Day 
April 8: Easter Sunday
April 11: Pope John XXXII issues Pacem in Terris in 1963
April 11: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act in 1964


Genuine progress does not consist in wealth sought for personal comfort or for its own sake; rather it consists in an economic order designed for the welfare of the human person, where the daily bread that each person receives reflects the glow of human love and the helping hand of God.
-- Paul VI, Populorum Progressio

The power of the Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, is continuously at work in the world. Through the generous sons and daughters of the Church likewise, the People of God is present in the midst of the poor and of those who suffer oppression and persecution; it lives in its own flesh and its own heart the Passion of Christ and bears witness to his resurrection. 
-- Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 74

Hope in the coming kingdom is already beginning to take root in the hearts of people. The radical transformation of the world in the Paschal Mystery of the Lord gives full meaning to the efforts of people, and in particular of the young, to lessen injustice, violence and hatred and to advance all together in justice, freedom, kinship and love.
-- Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 76

   The Risen Christ signals the paths of hope along which we can advance together towards a world more just and mutually supportive, in which the blind egoism of the few will not prevail over the cries of pain of the many, reducing entire peoples to conditions of degrading misery.
   May the message of life proclaimed by the angel near the stone rolled back from the tomb overturn the hardness of our hearts; may it lead to removing unjustified barriers and promote a fruitful exchange between peoples and cultures.
   May the image of the new human being, shining on the face of Christ, cause everyone to acknowledge the inalienable value of human life; may it encourage effective responses to the increasingly felt demand for justice and equal opportunity in all areas of society; may it impel individuals and States to full respect for the essential and authentic rights rooted in the very nature of the human person.
-- John Paul II, Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter, 23 April 2000

By immersing ourselves into the death and resurrection of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are moved to free our hearts every day from the burden of material things, from a self-centered relationship with the “world” that impoverishes us and prevents us from being available and open to God and our neighbor.
-- Benedict XVI, Message for Lent 2011, 3

Thoughts for your consideration

An understanding of resurrection which does not address issues of justice is shallow and not consistent with the spirit of Jesus who lived, died, and rose to bring an end to all oppression and injustice. 

The data of Good Friday is not complete.
Another way of looking at things is possible.
The reality is different than first expected.

The death of Jesus is not the last word or the end of the story.
Resurrection is the ultimate word of God about life and death.
In a world with lots of death, we are called to share Resurrection today.

Today’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us that something new is possible: “Let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  In the midst of awesome human problems, great social sins, all kinds of violence, extreme economic inequalities, destruction to our planet, and serious injustices of all kinds, we believe something more is possible.  We affirm life.  We believe that resurrection is possible. 

Change is possible. Growth is possible.  Peace and reconciliation are possible. Something new is possible.  Healing of relationships is possible. Liberation for the poor and oppressed is possible. Social change is possible.  Nations can work together for justice and peace.  People can stand up and demand human rights.  Society can provide health care for all.  There is enough food so that everyone can eat if we only learn how to distribute it.  All our children can have access to a good education.  All people can have meaningful employment.  We can live in a way that does not destroy the planet.  We can work to end war and violence. We can live in solidarity.

Our world knows the tragedy of divisions and hatreds between peoples and nations. Our world knows the scandal of poverty and economic injustice. Today large parts of our world still struggle with the effects of a serious recession.  We live in a world where the system is structured to increase economic inequalities between people. Meanwhile, the developing world has been dealing with an ongoing “recession” for a long time. More than ever the world needs to experience resurrection.

More than ever we need a spirit that will help and heal the death, violence, and injustice of the world.  More than ever we need to create a world where people are not oppressed by sinful structures.  Peter in Acts reminds us that Jesus “… went about doing good and healing all those oppressed ….”   We are called to do the same.

An understanding of resurrection which does not address issues of justice is shallow and not consistent with the spirit of Jesus who lived, died, and rose to bring an end to all oppression and injustice. 

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

In today’s letter to the Corinthians we read: “Let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  Name the malice and wickedness you see around us.  Name the places of sincerity and truth.


When have your experienced the cycle of death & resurrection in your own ministry?


A Sufi tale:
A dead man suddenly came to life and began to pound on the lid of the coffin.
The lid was raised; the man sat up. “What are you doing?” he said to the assembled crowd, “I am not dead.” His words were met with silent disbelief. One of the mourners finally said, “Friend, the doctors and the priests have certified that you are dead. So dead you are.” And he was duly buried.

Actions – Links

Catholic Confront Global Poverty
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) call on one million Catholics in the United States to confront global poverty. Advocate with us to end hunger, disease, conflict, and other issues that affect the lives of our brothers and sisters worldwide.   Get more info at

“Crazy Facts”

Although there has been some recent declines in food prices, “the global Food Price Index averaged 210 points in 2011, up 24 percent from its average in 2010 (169 points). Average annual prices in 2011 for wheat, maize and rice also well exceeded averages for 2010.”  Get the details at:

Prayers of Intersession

Response:  Risen Jesus, lead us to new life.
For an end to the death and suffering that follows from our wars and fighting, we pray….
For an end to the death and suffering that follows from poverty and economic injustice, we pray….
For an end to all our policies and practices that do not respect life, we pray…..
For an end to all the distortions caused in our economic system that are caused by human greed, we pray….
For a new spirit of care and respect for every human person, we pray….
For a new spirit of joyful acceptance of our diversity, we pray….
For a new era without war and the preparations for war, we pray…..
For a renewed human community, healed of all divisions, we pray….


Lord Jesus, our Peace,
Word made flesh two thousand years ago,
who by rising from the dead have conquered evil and sin,
grant the human family of the third millennium
a just and lasting peace;

Bring to a happy outcome the talks undertaken
by people of good will who,
despite so many doubts and difficulties,
are trying to bring an end to the troubling conflicts in Africa,
the armed clashes in some countries of Latin America,
the persistent tensions affecting
the Middle East, vast areas of Asia,
and some parts of Europe.

Help the nations to overcome old and new rivalries,
by rejecting attitudes of racism and xenophobia.

May the whole of creation,
inundated by the splendor of the Resurrection,
rejoice because “the brightness of the eternal One
has vanquished the darkness of the world.”
-- URBI et ORBI Message of John Paul II, Easter, 23 April 2000


    The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
    Crushed. Why do men then now not wreck his rod?
    Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
    is now bare, nor can foot feel, being shod.

    And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
    And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
    Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

-- God's Grandeur, Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

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