Reflection: 21st April 2019

A Reflection for Easter Sunday

Jn: 20:1-9 ( 

The scriptures provide the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and we hold the words and the people, and the sayings and doings that day.  We ask our always loving God to be in our minds and in our hearts as we hear. 

St. John’s Gospel tells of facts & actions, Mary Magdalen’s reactions and very human way of letting her broken heart be helped.  And Jesus helps her and each of us as we listen and watch. 

Writing on a sun-filled spring afternoon, in Dublin, I know full well the reality of how we older priests ‘in retirement’ are surrounded by, and thank God for, His protection and plentiful grace; we repeat as best we may these stories.  My hope is that faith in the facts may be ours always and we ask God to be close to any person who may need our small prayer for them. 

There is a choice of readings at Holy Eucharist.  Paul (Letter to the Colossians) insists today that each man and woman who believes is, by faith and the power of the sacraments, “raised by the sacraments with Christ”, asking you and me to set our minds on the things above. He explains that this “living” is not just daily life on earth but a believer’s living in faith and love. 

This day in the celebration a high point is the singing of the Sequence. It is known as the Victimae Pascali, and tells in music the story told in the words of the Gospel of John this day.  For me, these words and this traditional tune – with the light, rapid lilt – capture and convey the joy of Christ and the joy of Christians on Easter Day.  I believe also that it holds a deep truth which we must not miss: that Jesus on that first resurrection day was personally full of joy.  He acts with people, respecting each human person he meets just as he acted with them when – and as – they each had known him before his suffering and death.  Long before, he did once say that he came to spread fire on the earth.  He was in a hurry.

Now that he had done all he had to do, he comes to help each one just as he had left them.  Everything he came to Jerusalem for he had finished.  He wants them now to leave and go home, and says that he will be there to meet them and to help them to live on.  He gets them to leave Jerusalem and to go back to their daily living, their trades and their ordinary lives making a living just as we today after our Holy Mass go home and do our job and live our lives. 

We celebrate His resurrection and also our prayers, our pains, our joy and our new shared living in Christ.  If we let God feed our faith and if we see and celebrate the joy of Jesus, I believe that the scripture readings which we share today have the power within them to refresh and to restore our own faith and our living all the experiences of our living with Jesus gifts in us.  

May each of us have Christ’s own Easter joy this day!

Vincent O’Grady C.S.Sp.  –Ordained in 1962, Fr. Vincent was appointed to East Africa, and ministered in both Kenya and Tanzania. Subsequent appointments included in Ireland, Rome and Switzerland. He now lives in Kimmage Manor.