Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 2:36-41; John 20:11-18
Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen! Throughout this sacred octave, let us rejoice with Holy Mother Church and celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. All of us who have been baptized and have put on Christ have descended with Christ into the realm of death and been raised with Him to everlasting life. Through the resurrection of Christ, the Father has made all things new and made us heirs of the heavenly Kingdom.
Christ is risen and all of creation proclaims the victory of Life over darkness and death. Psalm 68 is often called the Easter Psalm. I offer the introductory verses of that Psalm for your consideration.
1 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
may his foes flee before him.
2 May you blow them away like smoke—
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.
3 But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful. (NIV)
These words of the Psalmist resonate with the words penned by Peter in today’s first reading. Christ is the Light of the world. In Him God has arisen and overcome the darkness. In the glory of the resurrection, all things are filled with light. Because Christ is risen, we have been crowned with victory and have been made children of the light. Because Christ has risen, all the enemies of life must flee before Him. In his victory, we are delivered from sorrow and despair. Christ is risen from the dead; by death he has trampled death and has granted eternal life to all those who were in the tomb. Because He is risen, all evil is blown away like smoke. Because He is risen, all wickedness dissolves like a morning mist. Christ has risen from the dead and calls us who have fallen asleep to wake up and share in His saving work.
The author of the letter to the Hebrews wrote: “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29) Who purifies and refines us like precious metal. By the power of the resurrection, Christ overcame death, causing it to melt away like wax before the fire. Because Christ is risen, death and darkness no longer have any power over us. Because the tomb is empty, the world is full of the goodness of the Lord. Because Christ has made all things new, we have cause to rejoice and be glad. In the joy of the Resurrection let us follow the risen Master wherever He may lead us. As Christ poured Himself out for love of us, so may we pour ourselves out for love of Him and all that He loves.
Christ is Risen from the dead and has emptied Hades of all those who had been held captive. When Christ rose from the dead He become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Let us enter into the joy of the Lord who has refashioned our distorted form in His own image. He who has conquered sin and death invites us to return to our first love. May we come to know the joy of love’s embrace and may Christ bring us all together to everlasting life.