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 29, 2021

Prayers of the People: Risen Son ~ Easter Day '21 Yr B

For Sunday, April 4, 2021, Readings: Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Mark 16:1-8

    Peter began to speak..."I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable..."[Jesus] commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead...everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. [Acts 10:34-35]

           Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his mercy endures forever....On this day the LORD has acted and we will rejoice and be glad in it. [Psalm 118:1, 24]

          For I handed on to you as of first importance...that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures... [1 Corinthians 15:3-4]

        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 16:5-6a]

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia!

        EASTER is here! Hallelujah!! Christ is Risen!!! Wherever you are on this planet whether bursting into Spring, slipping into Autumn, or somewhere in between, today our Salvation is assured, again and still, through our faith in this Risen Lord of All. Yet it will likely be the second quietest Easter for many of us.
        Daily life in the time of pandemic continues from the upended of the usual, the regular, and even the irregular from last year. Now we are to experience a second holiday/Holy Day apart from each other and our prior expressions of extra-glorious festival worship services of common memory. Yet hope does spring eternal as we look ahead to newer, improved, and more creative online worship with pre-recorded music and choirs and joy-filled Liturgies. Even for those for whom Easter isn’t “all that” spiritually, this year will have a slightly more celebratory feeling than the abruptness of last year’s quiet.
      Yet, I am again drawn to the words of Thomas Merton in his book The Sign of Jonas, "The grace of Easter is a great silence, an immense tranquility and a clean taste in your soul. It is the taste of heaven...a discovery of order above all order...a wine without intoxication, a joy that has no poison in it. Life without death..." After the strange experience of last Easter, what might we discover about this Easter and the gifts it holds if we decide to accept? 
    There are four Gospel accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This year we hear from the Gospel of Mark, which generally feels to me as a newspaper account, light in detail and flourish with just the basics. If you were asked to tell the Gospel Resurrection story, which of the four is closest to your memory? What does Easter mean to you, how would you describe it? Listening to or reading different accounts of the same event can give us a fresh perspective and a new experience of the moment.
     Take some time this Easter season and read the Gospel accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Reflect on what surprises you and what questions arise. Notice the similarities and differences. Wonder, and try to decide, if one account speaks to you more than another and why? Or perhaps you'll mix and match the Gospel writers' accounts to arrive at your own version, visualizing yourself in the time and place. Whatever you do, ask yourself: So what? What does it all mean for my life today, tomorrow, and beyond? What will I do ~ or stop doing ~ as a result of reflecting on Christ's Death and Resurrection? 
     Merton also says, in He is Risen, “Christ is the Lord of a history that moves. He not only holds the beginning and the end in his hands, but he is in history with us, walking ahead of us to where we are going…True encounter with Christ liberates something in us, a power that we did not know we had, a hope, a capacity for life, resilience, an ability to bounce back when we thought we were completely defeated, a capacity to grow and change, a power of creative transformation.” How important are these words in these current days?
     Let’s seek that clean taste in our souls, that fresh joy, that creative transformation, and discover a bit of the great silence within as we dust off and resurrect our faith to meet and be liberated by Christ beyond the tomb. Now we again meet the Christ moving within us and before us, and our path with him, though not easy, will lead us into the eternal Easter of Salvation. Choirs of angels await… And while we’re at it, let us continue to be in touch with those for whom Church is always distant and unattainable, who are still more isolated than some. A phone call, a note, a mail-ordered Easter basket will help to keep Christ present through us in our absence from one another. A little taste of heaven goes a long way. The Risen Son is our Light of Life. Hallelujah!


Leader:  ~ Christ Jesus, Risen Lord of All, the earth-bound tomb is empty! You are raised to the right hand of God from the temporary bindings of human death. You redeemed our souls that we may accept Your gift of new life and join You in the joy and glory of eternal salvation.

                                                      Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
RESPONSE:              Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!  
~  Christ Jesus, Risen Lord of All, Your Death and Resurrection fulfilled the Scriptures as the Sacred Victim of political murder, feared most by those whose political power was merely temporal and time-limited. Help us strive to remind those who now hold earthly power in our World, in our Country and in our Community, that God shows no partiality and all who believe and do right are acceptable and forgiven through You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

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

~ Christ Jesus, Risen 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 now join our hearts together to pray for those in need… add your own petitions

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

~ Christ Jesus, Risen Lord of All, by Your Sacrifice, mortal death has been vanquished and the ransom for sin has been paid for those we love, and we ourselves in time, who joyously enter perpetual life with You. We pray especially for… add your own petitions

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

~ Christ Jesus, Risen Lord of All, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials… add your own petitions

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

~ Christ Jesus, Risen Lord of All, we give You great thanks for those anointed priests of Your Church who, in teaching, care, and humility, walk with us and lead us in this life, toward the fullness of Your Salvation in the next. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

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

The Celebrant adds: Son of God, our Savior Christ, You are the Word with God from the Beginning, Who is Beloved of God, and through Whom God is brought to each of us. Release us from our self-imposed tombs of sin, that we may transcend mortal desires, be stronger in faith, and lift our souls to You. We ask through You, our Living Lord, the Power of the Holy Spirit, and the Enduring Grace of the Almighty, who together are our One God, forever and ever. Amen.

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