A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Prayers of the People: Easter Day, 2015

For April 5, 2015, Easter Day, Year B, Readings: Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Mark 16:1-8

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....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."    [Mark 16: 1, 5-6a]

          Did you listen to or actually read the Gospel for today? Did you happen to notice that this year's snippet seems to be noticeably lacking in the "WOW" factor? The women "fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them..." It's not what we expect to hear in the midst of a grand and glorious liturgy celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. But, we already know the story - or, do we? 
          Matthew tells us there was an angel whose "appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow." He spoke to the women who then "left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy..." and Jesus met them. In Luke there were "two men in dazzling clothes" who said to the women "why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen." The women told the apostles but those words "seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them."  John's seems low key by comparison. Mary Magdalene arrived first and then ran 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.'" It was some time after Peter and the "other disciple" looked in and saw the tomb empty before Mary had an encounter with "two angels in white" and was shortly after greeted by Jesus. 
          Most of us will have participated in Easter celebrations many times so we know what it is all about. But listening or reading slightly different accounts can give us a fresh perspective. Take some time this Easter and read the Gospel accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Reflect on what surprises you, what questions arise, which one account resonates the most with you and why? Or perhaps you'll mix and match the Gospel writers' accounts to arrive at your own conclusions. Whatever you do, ask yourself, what does it all mean for my life today and tomorrow? What will I do - or stop doing - as a result of reflecting on Christ's Death and Resurrection? It may take until next Easter to decide and then it will be time to decide again. Lent is over; Easter has just begun! 
          He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia!


Leader:  ~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, the tomb is empty! You are raised from human death and glorified into the eternal life which You now offer to us. You are the Lord for whom we have waited so long. Let us be glad and rejoice in Your gift of salvation!

   Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Response:           Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!
~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, You were feared most by those whose political power was merely earth-bound and time-limited. Let us strive to remind those who hold earthly power in our own time, that God shows no partiality and all who do right are acceptable through Your enduring mercy. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, lavish Your healing grace and glory on all those who are ill in body, mind, or spirit and on those who give them care.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, You wipe the tears from our faces with Your Good News that death has been vanquished by Your cross. You have brought those we love, and we ourselves in time, to perpetual life with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, we give You thanks for those priests of Your Church who are not consumed with their own importance and glory but who lead us to and walk with us to experience the fullness of Your Salvation. We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

The Celebrant adds:  Christ our Glorious Redeemer, from the beginning You were the Word that was with God and You brought God to each of us. Help us find our way out of our self-imposed tombs that we may transcend mortal desires and lift our souls to You. We ask through Your saving Grace, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the benevolence of Almighty God, who are One God, now and through eternity.  Amen.

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