BIG news! 1 & 2



Did you hear the BIG news? In a volatile section of the Middle East, news outlets report that a man rose from the dead. After severe beatings and torture resulting in death, days later, he left his grave and walked among the people totally unscathed. Only scars were left as proof of His ordeal. Many are saying that several others who had been buried throughout the city “awoke” as well after a severe earthquake hit that region. Understandably, the citizens of that area are in shock and more than a bit shaken by these incredible events.

This report sounds so strange to our modern ears, and yet we read this same account in the Gospels about Jesus and don’t even think twice. Maybe we should!

What does it mean for someone to be raised from the dead? Interestingly, Jesus was not the only one who rose from the dead. We have accounts in the Gospels of Him raising Lazarus, the widow’s son, and Jarius’ daughter, then there were those who came back to life after the crucifixion. But there is a difference between all of those accounts and Jesus’ resurrection --they all died again.

Jesus LIVES! Eternally! Now and forever!

And He has made a way for us to live and never die, as well. Alleluia! We serve a RISEN Savior! That means that what once was impossible--is now possible! The Light of Christ shines into my murkiness. All that I don’t know or understand and all that scares me is now transformed by HOPE! That includes redeeming the darkness of my past and the unknown events of my future. His light of Hope shines on all. I can trust that if Jesus did the impossible over two thousand years ago, He can do it again--for me now.

It does not matter to God how long you have been dead, or even how old a situation is...our God is the God of the Living, in Him is our HOPE. Jesus we trust in You! With You, all things are made new! All things are possible!

Just as we walked for forty days during Lent with Jesus all the way to Calvary in the Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross), let’s walk with Him now from the tomb to Pentecost in the Via Lucis (the Paschal Way of the Light.) Similar to the Via Crucis, there are fourteen stations and we will look at two each week. I pray that, if this is a new practice for you, it can become a beloved part of your Easter Tide traditions.

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

FIRST STATION

Jesus Rises from the Dead

All: We adore You, O Christ and we praise You!

Because by the Wood of the Cross and

the Light of the Resurrection,

You have redeemed the world!

"The angel of the Lord said to the women: 'Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for He has been raised just as He said." (Matthew 28: 5b-6a).

Reflection: On the first day of the week, at the dawning of the new creation, Jesus arose from the dead. No one saw the event, yet like the apostles, we are called to be witnesses of this central faith event. The light and power of Christ's death and resurrection has become the pattern for our living. May we recognize Christ's dying and rising in our midst.

Prayer: This is the day, Lord God, that You have made! Raising Christ from the dead, and raising us with Christ, You have fashioned for Yourself a new people. As we hear the word that brings salvation, make our hearts burn within us. Through the presence of every friend and stranger, reveal to us the face of the One who had first to suffer, but who has entered now into glory, Jesus Christ, our Passover and our Peace, living and reigning with You, forever and ever. Amen.

All: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

That Easter morn, at break of day,

The faithful women went their way

To seek the tomb where Jesus lay, Alleluia!

SECOND STATION

The Disciples Discover the Empty Tomb

All: We adore You, O Christ and we praise You!

Because by the Wood of the Cross and

the Light of the Resurrection,

You have redeemed the world!

"Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed." (John 20: 8).

Reflection: The empty tomb was not a proof of the resurrection, but rather a silent witness of the greatest event of our faith. Seeing the empty tomb, the disciples were motivated to seek the Risen Lord at work in their midst. They saw and believed in the continuing presence of the Lord of love. All the empty and lonely places of human life are precisely where the Lord wishes to work and be revealed.

Prayer: God our Father, creator of all, today is the day of overwhelming joy. The Lord appeared to those who had begun to lose hope and opened their eyes to what the Scriptures foretold: that first He must die and then rise. May the Risen Lord breathe on our minds and open our eyes that we may know Him in the breaking of bread, and follow Him in His risen life. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

All: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

The dear belov'd apostle John

Could faster than St. Peter run,

Arriving first before the tomb. Alleluia.


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