Easter Sunday

Engaging Faith | Fri, Apr 17, 2009

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Easter Sunday

April 12, 2009


    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 15: Income Tax Day due in the United States


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

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 and serious injustices, 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 solidarity.

Our world knows the tragedy of divisions and hatreds between peoples and nations.

Our world knows the scandal of poverty and economic injustice.

Right now the developed world is in the midst of a serious recession. 

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

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

Actions - Links

Cluster Bombs

  • At the Angelus on Palm Sunday, April 5, "Pope Benedict XVI called on nations to end the production, stockpiling and use of land mines and cluster bombs."
  • In March President Obama and the US Congress passed "a permanent ban on U.S. exports of most cluster bombs, which scatter small submunitions that often explode only long after a battle has subsided, harming innocent people."
  • Senators are now working to get sponsors for the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Bill # S.416. "This bill bans the use of cluster munitions in or near civilian populated areas, as well as the use of weapons that leave behind more than 1 percent of their submunitions unexploded on the ground-effectively like landmines." To support their efforts, go to

"Crazy Facts"

On April 1, FRAC, the Food Research and Action Center, reported: "In January 2009, SNAP/Food Stamp participation was 32,204,859 people, the highest participation level on record, and an increase of more than 400,000 individuals from December 2008, the prior record level."  This means that one in every ten Americans receives food stamps.  Under the economic stimulus law, Food stamp benefits are getting a temporary 13 percent increase, beginning with this month,

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 way, 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


May the Lord remove from the heart of all human beings

every trace of resentment, of hostility and of hate,

and open them to reconciliation,

to solidarity and to peace.

~ John Paul II, October 11, 2001


The Possibility Prayer

Yes. It can happen.

Yes. It can take place.

Yes. God can do it.

After all, the angel said "Do not be afraid."

After all, the tomb was found empty.

After all, the Spirit, "will pray for you."

After all, God wants peace and reconciliation

After all, God's name is "justice."

After all, God is "liberation."

Yes. It can happen.

Yes. It can take place.

Yes. God can do it.

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