In the readings for this Sunday, April 1, we experience the fulfillment of God’s promise to humanity — the Resurrection.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
During the liturgy for this Sunday, April 1, we sing Alleluia, we renew our baptismal vows, we get sprinkled with the new holy water — all because we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Today’s readings show Peter’s speech to the Jewish people telling them that we have been commissioned to be witnesses of the resurrection. Jesus’ victory over sin and death is a reminder that no matter what we might face in this world, nothing is more powerful than God. We may be amazed at God’s power as the women who looked for Jesus in the tomb were, but that amazement should be taken with us as we help other people understand God’s love for us.
Acts 10:34A, 37-43
To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
He has been raised; he is not here.
You can read the full text of this Sunday’s readings here:
Scriptures for April 1, Easter Sunday, Cycle B
How will we get to Jesus? That was the big question that the Marys asked on Easter Sunday. They wanted to minister to Jesus in his death — to anoint him properly for his burial since they weren’t able to do it when he was first killed. They were afraid that they wouldn’t have the strength to remove the obstacle of the rock in front of the tomb. Of course, they were met by an open tomb and a messenger (angel) who told them that Jesus was risen. Their original mission was no longer relevant; they were given a new one — to go tell the Apostles what they saw.
The second reading tells us to seek what is above — to look to heaven for what we need. Our baptism is our share in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Since we entered into it with him, we’re saved through it, and as Peter says in the first reading, we are commissioned to share that good news with others. With our actions, we can be the good news that our limitations are not limitations for God. If a stone is too big for us to roll away, or a grief is too strong for us to bear, or a job seems too difficult, we have the resurrection to remind us that God is bigger, stronger and more capable than anything that would prevent us from living fully.
As it did for the ladies at the tomb and the Apostles in the room, when times seem darkest God brings light. Angels bring us help unlooked for, community shares our burdens, our faith reminds us of God’s care for us. Jesus “goes before us” — he’s been there before us, and will meet us along the way to help us get to where we need to be.
What’s your favorite thing about Easter? Why?
Am I flexible in my life when my original plans get changed, like the women at the tomb? Am I careful to listen to God’s voice directing me? How do I fulfill the commission given to me to share the Gospel?
What stones in my life feel too big to move on my own? Who journeys with me to face my obstacles? Do I trust God to help me along the way? Am I proficient at recognizing Jesus in the help that I receive?
Bonus Question for all three groups:
The Second Sunday of Easter is also Divine Mercy Sunday. Consider praying the Novena leading up to this feast, and see some options for how to pray it by clicking this link.
A little lectio
The ancient practice of prayerfully reflecting on bits of Scripture is known as lectio divina. Want to try it out with your family? Head over to Lectio Divina for Kids to find out how to adapt this prayer practice for your kids.
A little Bible study
Want to do a little Bible study with your kids? Here are some tips:
- During Ordinary Time, the Church pairs the Old Testament and New Testament readings in a way that each sheds light on the other. Ask your kids to look for the common theme connecting the two readings. (Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it is subtle.) How does the “dialogue” between the readings help you understand them better?
- Get a New American Bible, Revised Edition, and take a look at the footnotes for these readings. How do they change your understanding of what is going on?
- Take a look at the context for the readings—what happens before, or after?
- Read the NABRE’s introduction to the book of the Bible that the readings are taken from. How does that help you understand the readings?
- If you don’t have a copy of the NABRE at home, you can view it online at the USCCB website at the Daily Readings web page. (The link will take you to today’s reading; click forward or backward on the dates to get to Sunday’s readings.)
For even more resources for breaking open this Sunday’s readings, head over to The Sunday Website.
The image for Breaking Open the Word at Home is taken from a 17th century illuminated manuscript by an anonymous (but very talented) artist. The text is from the beginning of the Book of Sirach, chapter 1, verses 1-12, which begins: “All wisdom is from the Lord and remains with him forever.”