Lectionary Reflections: Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

Engaging Faith | Tue, Mar 31, 2015

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

Easter Sunday

April 5, 2015

Copyright © 2015 Center of Concern

Easter Sunday

April 5, 2015


Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8

John 20:1-9


April 3: Passover begins at sundown

April 4: Holy Saturday

April 5: Easter Sunday

April 7: World Health Day

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

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 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

Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth. 

Pope Francis, March 22, 2013 

Being with Jesus demands that we go out from ourselves, and from living a tired and habitual faith. 

Pope Francis on Twitter ‏@Pontifex, 27 Mar 2013 

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 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 and suffering, we are called to share Resurrection today.

In a world that seeks justice, we are invited to be people of the Resurrection.

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. 


“Why is everyone here so happy except me,” asked the disciple.

“Because they have learned to see beauty and goodness everywhere,” said the master.

“Why don’t I see beauty and goodness everywhere?” 

The master replied:  “because you cannot see outside of you, what you fail to see inside of you.”!!!-to-thejoy-of-living-its-waiting-right-where-you-are.html

Actions – Links

USCCB and Catholic Relief Services are trying to address issues of global poverty. Get involved at their web site:  

Speak up about human trafficking and other issues.

“Asian Center for the Progress of Peoples is an independent organization based in Hong Kong with an Asian focus. It was founded in 1979 when groups and individuals of the Church committed to Justice and Peace work in Hong Kong saw beyond the needs of the Territory and realized the urgency of an Asian-level involvement. They were inspired by Pope Paul VI's Encyclical letter ‘Progress of Peoples’ (Populorum Progresso, 1967).”   Hotline Asia Urgent Appeals are requests for international solidarity and letter writing.

April 7 is World Health Day

“Crazy Facts”

It is estimated that two million deaths occur every year from contaminated food or drinking water.

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.”

                           John Paul II, Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter, 23 April 2000


God, you are a loving parent to all people;

help us to claim your children as our brothers and sisters.

Out of this understanding of being in actual familiar relationship to those in need,

send us your Spirit to speak, act and advocate wholeheartedly.

Today give us the confidence to take the first step towards justice, towards service, towards you:

knowing that you will strengthen us with your love and example.


Igniting the Spirit March 8, 2015  


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

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.


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