Acts 10:34, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Today the Church celebrates our Lord and Savior’s rising from the dead, and our hearts are filled with gratitude and joy at what God has done for us in paying the price of our salvation. At no point in this most solemn week of the church’s liturgical year are we unaware of what God has done on this day. The drama of these days – the triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, the betrayal of one of Jesus’ closest associates, the bold example of the Lord becoming a slave to wash the feet of his disciples, the agony of inner turmoil in a beautiful garden, the denial of the chief of the apostles, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the insults, the impossible carrying of a cross too heavy to bear, the cruel nailing to that wooden instrument of torture – culminates in an empty tomb that proclaims that God has done great things, and “death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54).
As Peter reminds us in our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we “know what has happened… after the baptism that John preached.” Throughout the course of the year when the Scriptures are proclaimed we have come to see “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power,” and He “went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil.” We have come to recognize that Jesus is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and when we bend with the disciples to peer into the empty tomb, we see not emptiness, but rather the fullness of all that Jesus taught us, the triumph over sin and death. This marvelous feast of Easter is cause for us “to rejoice and be glad,” and it reminds us that for the Christian there is no day that should not be filled with gratitude and joy for all that God has done for us.