Meditation for Easter Sunday – The Feast of the Resurrection

Apr 12, 2020 by

Date Psalm OT Epistle Gospel
Apr 12 am: 148, 149,150
pm: 113, 114
Acts 10:34, 37-43 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 John 20:1-9


EASTER  SUNDAY – Feast of the Resurrection

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: This is the Sunday of Sundays, the day of Resurrection of Christ, the center and foundation of our faith. As Saint Paul said, “If Christ be not risen, your faith is vain” [I Cor. 15:14, 17]. This first day of the week begins the Octave of Easter which are the days we keep celebrating so that we might continue to enter into the meaning of the resurrection. In the early Church, the newly baptized would be at each liturgy this week, wearing their white garments as a sign of their new life(it is from this custom that we derive the idea of special outfits for Easter). Perhaps we would be better served donning simple white to show others of the great promise that is ours and can be theirs too.

The resurrection stories, which we read this week, come from communities that are proclaiming the good news. The tomb is empty – Jesus’ tomb and every tomb that tries to claim us in death. These are not believers who, in their deep desire, just made up the resurrection. These are people who can hardly believe what they are seeing and experiencing. They, like us now, had trouble recognizing his presence with them

Thus, Easter is the pinnacle of all feasts of the Church year, which began with Advent, or the expectation of the coming of the Messiah, sent by God to provide the means for our Salvation. The culmination of the entire liturgy is the Easter feast. Families who attend Mass on Easter Day join millions of Christians all over the world — past and present — in joyous affirmation of our redemption through the love of Christ, our hope of salvation, and our faith in the resurrection from the dead and the life of the world to come..

MEDITATION OF THE DAY is from two sources of the church fathers under our Ancient Wisdom/Present Grace

ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE “Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Is there anyone who is a grateful servant? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord! Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages. Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it. He destroyed Hades when He descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. “Isaiah foretold this when he said, ‘You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.’ Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with. It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed. It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated. It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive. (Excerpted from the Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom, 400

“After the resurrection, when our bodies will be reunited to our souls, they will be incorruptible; and the carnal passions which disturb us now will not be present in those bodies; we shall enjoy a peaceful equilibrium in which the prudence of the flesh will not make war upon the soul; and there will no longer be that internal warfare wherein sinful passions fight against the law of the mind, conquering the soul and taking it captive by sin. Our nature then will be purified of all these tendencies, and one spirit will be in both, I mean in the flesh and in the spirit, and every corporeal affection will be banished from our nature.”-~ St. Gregory of Nyssa


PRAYER OF THE DAY Almighty God, Who, through your Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, has overcome death, an opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: We humbly beseech you, that, a you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring the same to good effect through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Ghost, ever One God world without end. Amen


Easter Discipline : On Easter Eggs: Two legends exists around Christ and this symbol1)      Simon of Cyrene, who helped carry Christ’s cross to Calvary, was by trade an egg merchant. (Upon returning from the crucifixion to his produce farm, he allegedly discovered that all his hens’ eggs had miraculously turned a rainbow of colors; substantive evidence for this legend is weak.) Thus, when the Church started to celebrate the Resurrection, in the second century, it did not have to search far for a popular and easily recognizable symbolld2)      St. Mary Magdalen went to Rome and met with the Emperor Tiberius to tell him about the Resurrection of Jesus. She held out an egg to him as a symbol of this, and he scoffed, saying that a man could no more rise from the dead than that egg that she held could turn scarlet. The egg turned deep red in her hands, and this is the origin of Easter eggs, and the reason why Mary Magdalen is often portrayed holding a scarlet egg.Because of these legends and all of the egg’s symbolism, as wellas the fact that they were once forbidden during Lent, Christians make great use of them on this day, eating them, decorating them, and decorating with them At the dinner table, today with family and friends give each person at table their own egg. The first person turns to the person next to him and they strike their eggs against each other. When hitting the eggs together, the eggs can only touch rounded end to rounded end; they can’t make contact from the side. The person whose egg cracks, which symbolizes the breaking open of Christ’s tomb, yells the Easter greeting mentioned above, “Alleluia Christ is Risen!”. The person with the intact egg responds, ” The Lord is risen indeed  alleluia!” and then goes to the next person and repeats the egg smashing. And so it goes around the table, with the survivor of each round turning to the next person in line and trying to crack his next opponent’s egg. If your egg cracks, you’re out. The person who remains at the end with the intact egg will be blessed for the year.

Ed:  As always, we extend our thanks for these Meditations to the Rt Revd Kevin Francis Donlon and the people of the Church of the Resurrection, Tampa, Florida.

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