28 March 2018

'Tá Íosa ina Chríost go fóill! Jesus is still the Christ!' Sunday Reflections, Easter Sunday, Year B

From The Gospel of John (2003) directed by Philip Saville

Gospel of the Mass during the Day, John 20:1-9

The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Gospel Mark 16:1-7 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’

The Roman Missal states: The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil must take place during the night, so that it begins after nightfall and ends before daybreak on the Sunday. The Mass of the Vigil, even if it is celebrated before midnight, is a paschal Mass of the Sunday of the Resurrection.

The Easter Vigil is not an 'anticipated Mass'. It stands on its own and is the most important liturgical celebration of the whole year. One may fulfil one's Sunday obligation by attending either the Easter Vigil or the Mass during the Day. One may also receive Holy Communion at both. 

The Resurrection of Christ, Rembrandt [Web Gallery of Art]

At the Mass During the Day

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Gospel John 20:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in.  Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Mark 16:1-7, as at the Easter Vigil (above) or Luke 24:13-35 may be read instead.

Courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem [Wikimedia]
[Referred to in the poem below as 'Church of the Saviour']

Father Pádraig Ó Croiligh is a priest of the Diocese of Derry in Ireland. He is also a poet. The following poem is from his book Brúitíní Creidimh (Mashed Potatoes of Faith) published by Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta in 2005. I have added my own interlinear translation.

Calvaire (Calvary)

Ag barr na gcéimeanna
At the top of the steps
In Eaglais an tSlánaitheora
In the Church of the Saviour
Tá séipéal tógtha thart ar rian na croise,
There’s a chapel built around the mark of the cross,
An dara stáisiún déag dearaithe are a chúl
The twelfth station drawn at the back
Agus poll sa talamh faoi
And a hole in the ground beneath
San áit a mbíodh an chrois
In the place where the cross was
Ag an am ar tharla an crith talún.
At the time of the earthquake.

Ach níl an tarlú fein ná an duine
But neither the event nor the person
Í láthair anseo anois,
Are present here now,
Ach in áiteanna brúite buartha
But in crushed sorrowful places
Ar fud na cruinne
Throughout the world
Agus i láthair an uaignis.
And in the midst of loneliness.

An fear a fuair bás anseo,
The man who died here
Den bhás a rinneadh anseo,
Of the death wrought here,
Tá sé beo agus aiséirithe.
He is alive and risen.
Tá Íosa ina Chríost go fóill!
Jesus is still the Christ!

Every day 'crushed sorrowful places' are in the news. The wars in Iraq and Syria seem to have gone on for ever.

Lebanon is a country that went through a brutal civil war between 1975 and 1990 in which 120,000 were killed, out of a population of not much more than four million. Now it has six million people. It is affected today by the conflicts in neighbouring countries, especially Syria. It is estimated that there are around 1,500,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Seven years ago in a shopping mall in Beirut this small country gave what is one of the most joyful proclamations of the Resurrection that I have ever come across. One does not need to understand Arabic to know what is being celebrated. Jesus is still the Christ!

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