Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection March 30, 2024


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R/. Lord, send forth your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

R/.Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

R/. I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously.

R/. I will extol you, O Lord, for you have raised me up.

R/. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

R/. Lord, you have the words of eternal life.

R/. Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.

R/. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

When the Sabbath was past Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

We heard in the betrayal story of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, it was night and Judas left the company of Jesus at the last supper table. That night symbolised darkness, the reign of Satan. But now the Easter Vigil is a night by contrast. It is no more a night of darkness, but a night where true and full light penetrates.

Easter night is a night where the faith-people and faithful people “pass over” from slavery to freedom, from fear to assurance, from sorrow to joy, and from death to life. Easter Night celebrates Christ as our Light. Jesus dispelled the dark shadows of sin because he is the “Light of the world”.

The greatest message and confirmation of Easter is that Jesus our Lord is a living God. He lives. He lives on. He is alive. The Lord who was crucified and died on the cross and was buried was not finished in the tomb, he had not disappeared into the layers of earth, he was not lost in the past, and he was not confined to history as a memory. He conquered death, he rose from the grave, he broke the chains of death, and he defeated the forces of Satan and evil. He reigns forever in heaven with power, and glory, as God without end, as eternal God.

While Easter night celebrates Christ as our Light, it also confirms our vocation as the children of Light. With The Resurrection of Christ, darkness no longer has a hold on us. We are lit, we are enlightened. We walk firmly on the road of Light. We live in the light, we do the works of light.

So, We are called to always keep the light on – the light of energy against weakness, the light of courage against discouragement, the light of trust against despair, the light of sincerity against falsehood, the light of integrity against hypocrisy, the light of sensitivity against indifference, the light of humility against pride, the light of optimism against pessimism, the light of forgiveness against resentment, the light of reconciliation against retaliation, the light of generosity against avarice, the light of goodness against evil, the light of grace against sin.

This is what the Word of God in Colossians 5. 8-11 reminds and exhorts us: “You were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Behave as children of light; the fruits of light are kindness, justice, and truth in every form. You yourselves search out what pleases the Lord, and take no part in works of darkness that are no benefit; expose them instead”.

Very clearly we are told to keep away from all evil, which is darkness. We are to please the Lord, behaving as worthy children of God and light. Especially we must bear witness as Easter people by bearing abundant fruits of light in living a kind, just, and truthful life. That will be a real and excellent Easter. The risen Lord will give us new strength. He raises our strength which is often dull and reduced.

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