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  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, March 31, 2013

By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service



March 31, The Resurrection of the Lord

Cycle C. Readings:

1) Acts 10:34a, 37-43

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

2) Colossians 3:1-4

Gospel: John 20:1-9

My son and his fiancee planned to marry in the summer.

But that February the bride-to-be learned that her mother's cancer, previously in remission, had returned. Jennifer traveled home to spend a weekend with her mother, Teresa, while she was hospitalized. However, Teresa's condition suddenly deteriorated and it became clear that she would die within a few weeks.

Zachary and Jennifer quickly made the decision to get married two days later. Teresa, while very sick, was gratified that she would be able to be present at her only daughter's wedding.

Jennifer's extended family had spent long days together in the hospital waiting room, consoling one another and taking turns sitting with Teresa. But at 7 a.m. on Wednesday there would be a respite from their sadness when Jennifer and Zachary would walk down the aisle in the tiny hospital chapel.

Through mighty effort, Teresa dressed to look her best for her daughter's big day. The sun had barely come up when her husband wheeled her into the chapel. (They'd chosen the early hour so she'd have maximum energy.)

The ceremony was short and simple but beautiful as Zachary and Jennifer proclaimed and promised their abiding love for each other. Despite the circumstances, two hours of that day were about a family celebrating life, love and happiness. The sorrow was totally dispelled by joy.

The Easter Scriptures call us to be witnesses to Christ's resurrection, to see God fulfill his plan for us to have a life of eternal joy with him. The psalm describes it: "This is the day the Lord has made."

Such a day is the day in which suffering and sorrow are obliterated by joy. Although in this life we know the pain of sickness, hardship, oppression and injustice, at Easter we can see that these are born of the darkness of a sinful, incomplete world. They are not of God's making.

Through Christ, God redeems human life. It is in the day the Lord has made that we experience the joy of a couple's love, the birth of a child, the embrace of a family, the smile of encouragement -- happiness that is eternal.

QUESTIONS:

What are some times in your life that you recognize as an eternal kind of joy? How can you share what you've seen in Christ's resurrection and celebrate the day the Lord has made?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. ... When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory." -- Colossians 3:2, 4

END



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