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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

Victory
By FR JULIUS OLAITAN

EASTER SUNDAY 

 

THE VICTORY OF LIFE OVER DEATH

 

My dear friends in Christ, Happy Easter to you all! 

 

We give thanks to God who kept us alive through the season of Lent and has brought us to the season of Easter. May his name be praised now and always. The greatest wonder since the creation of man out of nothing happened in the resurrection of Jesus. The Lord rose from the dead after three days in the tomb. Not even the raising of Lazarus could compare to this, it could only serve to prove that nothing is impossible for the Lord to do. Today we celebrate the Lord of life who conquered death by his own death and his resurrection.

 

First reading (Acts 10:34.37-43)

Today’s passage is from his address at that meeting of Peter with Cornelius, a devout man who feared God, with all his household, he was generous with his means and prayerful. Cornelius had seen an angel who told him to send for Peter who was at Joppa to come to him. The vision of Simon and the message of the angel to Cornelius both have same significance, the salvation of a household that is not of Jewish origin. That made Peter reflect on the universal call to holiness and salvation. “The truth I have now come to realise,” Peter said, “is that God does not have favourites, but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” God does not deal with anyone because he comes from a particular race, or colour or background but because the person is living a righteous life. All through the season of Lent we were encouraged to shun the way of sin and tow the path of righteousness. Easter is therefore a celebration of good over evil, of life over death and of total rejection of the life of sin to embrace God’s way. 

 

Second reading (Colossians 3:1-4)

Paul in this letter was affirming to the Colossians that there is no other master apart from Christ in whom all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell. By his death and resurrection, Jesus has already overcome evil as the firstborn from the dead. He then encouraged the people to look up for the spiritual things since they have been brought back to true life with Christ. The baptism they have received is seen by Paul as their death with Christ which gives them a hidden life in Christ with God. They will then be revealed with Christ in glory. All the baptised must be aware of the special place they have been given by God and hold on to the dignity of their baptism without turning back to sin. The celebration of Easter is a reminder of the price God payed to redeem us and we must not let go of the salvation that has been offered us on a platter of gold.

 

Gospel (John 20:1-9)

The Church presents to us this day an account written by John who was one of the witnesses mentioned by Peter in the first reading on the happenings from the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan to the resurrection. The theme of light and darkness in the writings of John the evangelist is connected not only to time of day but to actual life situations. Real darkness for John is a life without Christ, a life without faith. John also mentioned that this event took place on the first day of the week, which will have great significance for Christianity as the day of worship will move from the last day of the week--Sabbath, to the first day of the week—the day of the Lord (Sunday).

 

The gospel reveals that, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early just after the Sabbath was over—on the first day of the week. She was obviously not prepared for what she saw. She became the first witness to the resurrection. Mary said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have put him.” This is a clear indication that there was no certainty at this time of the resurrection. Peter set out to the tomb with the other disciple who ran faster than Peter and got there first, when he bent down to look into the tomb, he saw the linen cloths on the ground, the first indication that the body had not been stolen or moved to another tomb since if that be the case the burial materials will be needed to go with the body. When Simon Peter arrived, he exercised his leadership, by being the first to go into the tomb, he also saw the burial cloths on the ground, carefully rolled up was also the material that had been over his head. At this time the other disciple also went into the tomb. John, wrote here that, ‘he saw and believed.’ He then concluded that up till this time, they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture on the resurrection from the dead. 

 

We live in a time when the resurrection of Jesus is no longer in doubt, but do we actually believe. If you believe, what exactly do you believe?

 

May the Lord bless you abundantly and may your Easter celebrations bear fruits for eternal life. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Have a blessed Easter season.

 
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