Scripture studies for all of Sundays of Lent 2014 are available here.

Easter Sunday - Cycle A

April 20, 2014

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Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Psalm: 118:1-2,16-17,22-23

Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 

Gospel Reading: John 20:1-9

  • Although Peter at first doubted her story (Luke 24:11), he and “the other apostle” (by tradition, John), also run to the tomb. They find the burial cloths in such a state that made it clear that the body had not been stolen (verses 6-7). At this point, they still could not grasp that Jesus had risen, as he predicted he would. Later, however, they would have no doubt.
  • That Jesus rose from the dead is the most well-attested miracle in Scripture. The Old Testament foretold it; Jesus predicted it on more than one occasion; it was confirmed by his several appearances (John 20:19—21:1; Acts 1:3; Luke 24:13-35; 1 Corinthian 15:3-8). It was even verified by the Roman soldiers guarding his tomb ((Matthew 28:11-15)! Let us rejoice today that Jesus has defeated sin and death—Alleluia! He is risen indeed!

 

QUESTIONS:

  • In the 1st Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter is speaking to the first Gentile (non-Jewish) converts to Christianity. What was their response to his message that the Jesus they had heard something about had been raised from the dead (see Acts 10:44-49)? What should our reaction be?
  • According to St. Paul in the 2nd Reading, what should we be preoccupied with (verse 2)? Why? What has happened to us (verse 1, 3)? What will happen to us (verse 4)?
  • Put yourself in the place of Mary. What is your emotional state in the days following the crucifixion? Why do you go to the tomb so early? How do you react to the empty tomb?
  • According to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, how long was Jesus dead and his body in the tomb (John 2:18-22; Acts 10:40; CCC 994)? What did Jesus do for that time while in the tomb (1 Peter 3:19, 4:6; CCC 631-33)?
  • What had the disciples been told in advance about Jesus rising from the dead (Matthew 16:21, 27:63)? How do the positions of the linen shroud and the napkin provide corroborating evidence of the Resurrection? What is your proof that Jesus rose from the dead?
  • How should we respond to the empty tomb? Why did John preach the message (John 19:35,17:20; 1 John 5:13)? When a loved one dies or life seems cruel or a drudgery, how does the Resurrection of Jesus help you deal with your pain?

 

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 2174, 515, 631-658

 

It is no great thing to believe that Christ died; for this is something that is also believed by pagans and Jews and [even] by all the wicked: everyone believes that He died. The Christians' faith is in Christ's Resurrection; that is what we hold to be a great thing--to believe that He rose   –St Augustine

 

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