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Easter Sunday (Year A)
Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.
We celebrate this day of gladness and rejoicing,
basking in the depth of your love
revealed in an empty tomb.
May we, like the disciples, make haste
to share the news of Resurrection with everyone we encounter.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Sing or listen
Acts 10:3-4a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
R: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
What do you remember from the reading that you have just heard?
Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb where Jesus has been buried, but when she gets there the body has gone. How do you think she felt when she realised this?
She goes to get Simon Peter and John and tells them that Jesus has gone. They reach the tomb and see that it is empty. The disciples finally realise that Jesus has risen from the dead and they believe in him. They know that he is the Son of God.
Jesus is risen from the dead, giving new life to us all. How does that make you feel?
Easter is a time of joy and celebration. How will you celebrate Easter today?
We are filled with hope today because Jesus’ resurrection shows us that nothing is impossible for God.
We hope we can help each other to be the best people we can be and to live full and happy lives, wherever we are in the world.
We pray that through God’s grace we can care for one another and work together to make the world a better place for us all, and especially for those of us who are poor.
What is your hope for the world this Easter? How can we make it happen?
Discuss as a family all that you have heard and thought about during the liturgy. Ask the children to look out for signs of hope and new life in the week ahead and to do one thing to try and make their hope for the world a reality.
Adapted From CAFOD UK’s Children’s Liturgy Reflection
For Young People
The Empty Tomb – It Matters!
I was born on Easter Sunday morning in 1978. New life on such an auspicious day – on that day, things began to matter.
The Easter morning story holds a special place in human history; the empty tomb – it matters. Have you ever noticed that the first person to be revealed the Resurrection was a woman? Pretty significant in a time when woman were considered as property! And it was this same woman who announced the Resurrection first! These facts matter to the Christian world and to those who believe, but why should the empty tomb, the first to see it and the result of it matter to YOU?
Today in the modern world, there is a crisis of mattering. Recently in our country, we have had a good hard looking at mattering. Do unborn babies matter? Are our elderly and critically ill – do they matter?
The empty tomb is the result of an act of great love because we matter to God! Pope Francis in his recent document to all young people Christus Vivit! reminds us of 3 great truths –, Christ is alive, Christ saves us and God loves us – Jesus in the act of surrendering His life substitutes those things that we do, say and think that damage others and our world. And why? Because we matter!
In fact, anyone that tells you that you don’t matter couldn’t be more wrong! How can you not matter when you are infinitely lovable and infinitely loved?!
The Bible passage from today tell us that “the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) (v8-9).
This disciple saw and believed the truth of Jesus. This wasn’t an academic exercise! Is it so difficult for you to see the truth of Jesus and dare to believe that you matter? This is your empty tomb too, and it is empty because you matter to Jesus.
Pause for Reflection:
Who Jesus is to you?
Do you have trouble believing that you matter? What stops you?
Who is the one you can talk to about your relationship with God? When was the last time you chatted to them?
As you enter into prayer today on this Easter day, take a moment to look back over the last few weeks and months. This has been a difficult time of many changes to day to day life for everyone around the world.
Pause for a moment, and consider the moments God has been working in your life… Does a particular moment stand out to you? A moment where the light of the Resurrected Christ was present and active?
That same light is present with you now. Right here, right now, the Risen Christ, who triumphs over sin and death sanctifies this ordinary place, and these ordinary people, and makes them holy.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John. This is the gospel that you would have heard had you been able to attend Mass on this Easter Sunday morning.
How does this passage speak to you today?
Does it have anything to do with how you are to cope with our “lockdown”?
Did you notice there is quite a lot of “running” in this story; what does this signify to you?
“He saw and he believed”: what did the disciple believe? Does this “belief” make any difference to the way you are reacting with the effects of the Coronavirus?
You may like to go back and read the story once more, and notice particularly what the evangelist says at the end: “they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead”.
On this Easter Sunday, we can experience the fullness of joy in the Resurrection, no matter how fiercely the virus rages. Bring all your thoughts and feelings together and turn them into a prayer to the Risen Christ, and to the God who raised him from the dead.
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you because by Your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.
Adapted from: Pray as You Go. Full recording here.
Look upon your family, the Church, O Lord,
with unfailing love and care,
so that, renewed by this Easter celebration,
our hope may be restored
and we may come to the glory of the resurrection.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
From the Archdiocese of Wellington “Suggestions for Prayer at Home over Holy Week.”
Sing or listen
Ways to live the prayer through the week
- Do things that are fun, give you joy or connect you with people you love.
- Call family and friends.
- If possible, take a walk (while respecting physical distancing).
- Play songs that bring you joy and feel celebratory for you (and your family).
- Have an Easter meal. If you are sharing this with others in your household, ask each person to say one thing that they are grateful for.
- Practice gratitude for this Easter season. Share with someone each day something you are grateful for, or write it in a journal, or start a gratitude group chat with friends or family. This is a great practice for us during this season as we continue to make our way through the Covid-19 pandemic.