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 25, 2024

Prayers of the People: This Son is Risen! ~ Easter Day '24 Yr B

For Sunday, March 31, 2024, Readings: Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 
1 Corinthians 15:1-11, John 20:1-18

  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]

  Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher)…Jesus said to her…”go to my brothers and say to them I am ascending to my Father…” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples...”I have seen the Lord…” [John 20:16-18]

EASTER is here! Hallelujah!! Christ IS Risen!!!

    There are four Gospel accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This year we hear from the Gospel of John who tells us of Mary the Magdalene’s weeping at the tomb and, looking in, seeing two angels sitting where the body of Jesus had been placed. The angels asked why she was weeping. She turned around and saw Jesus but didn’t recognize him at first and then, she did…
    How long has it been since you took some time to reflect on what Easter actually means to you? How would you describe it? Listen to the readings as they are given aloud. If you weren’t listening or weren’t in Church, or if you did both, it’s easy now to find them on YouTube as so many Churches have been recording since the Pandemic. Take a listen and later, read the different accounts of the same event in different translations.*
   Take notes as you 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? Visualize yourself in the time and place. Ask yourself: So what? ~ What does it all mean for my life today, tomorrow, and beyond? What will I start doing ~ or stop doing ~ as a result of reflecting on Christ's Death and Resurrection? Put your notes in a Bible or somewhere you can find them. Mark next year’s Easter on your phone’s calendar with a reminder to do this exercise again. Then, retrieve your notes from this year. Compare and contrast with the notes of the two years. Each time we listen and read, we hear/see new things and can often gain a fresh perspective and a new experience of the moments described. 
   The late Thomas Merton, who became a Trappist Monk after being a world traveler in his early life, says in his book, 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 the Gospel words in these times, for you?
    Let us seek fresh joy, that fuels a creative transformation. I want to dust off and resurrect my faith, to meet and be liberated by Christ beyond the tomb. I believe that the Resurrection of Easter requires the Cross of Good Friday, and as Christ is moving with us and before us, our path though not easy, will surely lead us into the eternal Easter of Life Everlasting.  
    And while you’re at it, don’t forget to be in touch with those for whom the Church is always distant and unattainable, who are isolated by age, illness, physical distance, and other reasons. A phone call, a note, a mail-ordered or just a small-but-hand-delivered Easter basket will go a long way to keeping Christ present by your presence in their absence from us…a little taste of heaven on earth goes a long way.
    Wherever you are on this planet whether bursting into Spring, slipping into Autumn, or somewhere in between, today the grace of his forgiveness our is assured always, again, and still, through this Risen Lord of All. This Son IS Risen! Hallelujah!

*The Resurrection accounts: Matthew 28:1-20, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-12 [13-44], John 20:1-18.

**For different translations, see https://www.biblegateway.com/. Just search on the passages listed and choose from a large number of translations. Some listed such as The Good News Bible, The Living Bible, The Message, etc., are not translations but paraphrases by authors choosing to make the more formal Scriptural language somewhat easier to relate the translations to everyday thoughts and speaking. It often helps in reverse by turning back to the Scripture to understand it more clearly.


Leader:  ~ O Christ, Risen! On this Day the Lord has acted! We will rejoice and be glad in it. In the midst of the darkness and fear in this world, let us revel in the Divine Light of Your Glorious Resurrection.
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                   Response:     Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! ~  Your Death and Resurrection fulfilled the Scriptures as the Sacred Victim of political murder, feared most by those whose political power was/is 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 are acceptable and forgiven through You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                             Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! Lavish Your healing grace and hope upon all who are ailing in body, mind, or spirit, and all who give them daily care. We now join our hearts to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                             Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! Our grateful hearts commend to You those we love, who have risen with You into the heavenly peace and splendor of life everlasting. We pray especially for… add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                            Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! We pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                            Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
~ O Christ, Risen! Infuse the leaders of Your Church with limitless energy and interior peace, as they strive in ever more creative ways, to guide our prayer and encourage us to follow Your Truth. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                                            Jesus is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
The Celebrant adds: Holy Redeemer Christ, Resurrected in Glory, in dying You destroyed our mortal death; in rising You claimed salvation for our souls. Release us from temporal distractions that entomb us in this earthly life, and set us again on the path to our True and Eternal Life in You. We ask through the Holy Spirit, the Divine Breath of New Life; and our Merciful Impartial Creator, who together with You are One God in Glory, Boundless, and Everlasting. Amen.

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