John 20: 1-9

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went 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.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in.

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved

Alleluia!  Alleluia!

This Easter day we look back and look forward. What has happened in our hearts and souls this Lent 2014? What have been my struggles? Where is the growth and grace? How have I looked Jesus in the eyes these past 40 days? And just how has Jesus stretched my heart as together the two of us have walked the way of the cross?

Easter hope and joy actually pull us out of our own small worlds into relationship with one another, into companionship with families and friends, co-workers and even total strangers, all those who call forth our best gifts shared in the service of all.

Easter invites us to recognize the hand of God connecting the dots, filling in the spaces between faith and daily living. The graces of Easter come alive when we mend a quarrel with someone we care about, roll up our sleeves for some worthy project, quietly listen when someone we know and love and perhaps even find difficult needs to talk or cry or vent.

Easter is all about sharing the life, the hope, the joy, the energy of Jesus…all in service to one another and to our waiting world. As Jesus invites: “Do this in memory of me!”

—The Jesuit prayer team


God our Father, creator of us all, today is the day of Easter joy. May Christ, our Risen Lord, open our minds and strengthen our hearts to  recognize him in the breaking of bread, and follow him, risen and alive, all our days. Amen