Divine new life and the good news Print
Sunday scripture column

Jem Sullivan

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Resurrection of the Lord

Acts 10:34, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6-8
Jn 20:1-9

The discovery of an empty tomb is the Gospel record of the historical event of Jesus' resurrection. No witnesses saw Jesus rising from the dead. But what they did see was Jesus' agonizing passion, his ignominious death on the cross, and the empty tomb.

So how did the disciples come to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead? And how is an artist to depict this central mystery of Christian faith and the high point of the Church's liturgical year -- Jesus' victory over sin and death in his glorious resurrection?

In a masterpiece painting titled, Two Disciples at the Tomb, the American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner captures the dramatic moment described in our Easter Sunday Gospel.

The poignant image invites us to enter into the Easter mystery with the same confident joy, uplifting hope, and deep faith of Mary of Magdala, Peter, and John.

The Gospel notes that Peter and John ran to Jesus' tomb. Before them, Mary of Magdala ran to Peter and John to announce the empty tomb. Why do these Gospel figures run at this critical moment?

Their eager haste evokes the deep longing of humanity for freedom from sin and despair that follows in the path of sin.

After their harrowing experience of Jesus' condemnation, passion, and death on the cross, the disciples huddle in fear and abandonment.

Tanner captures the moment when Peter and John stand before the empty tomb in awe and wonder that leads to certain faith in Jesus' resurrection.

As they are bathed in the divine light of God's power, so are we on Easter day. Their awe-filled gaze is our amazed gaze.

Like them, we see with the eyes of faith that God is reconciling each of us into friendship with him by raising his son from the dead. God gives us new divine life -- the miracle of Easter morning. This is the good news that is meant to radiate into every aspect of our lives.

So let us sing aloud the Easter praise, Alleluia! Jesus' resurrection is the pattern of new divine life.

Jem Sullivan is secretary for Catholic education of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Pope's April Prayer Intention Print
In 2019, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two.
Pope's April Prayer Intention

Doctors and their Collaborators in War Torn Areas
For doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.

Lenten Regulations Print

Catholics who have celebrated their 14th birthday are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays in Lent, and Good Friday.

In addition to abstaining from meat, Catholics who have celebrated their 18th birthday, until they celebrate their 59th birthday, are to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Those who are bound to this regulation may eat only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one's needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.

These minimal penitential practices should not be lightly excused.

For more information, including resources for penance around the diocese, click here.

Daily Scripture Readings Print
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Holy Days of Obligation Print

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2019.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Tuesday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 30
Ascension Thursday
Thursday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Friday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Monday, Dec. 9
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Wednesday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)