Easter Sunday Year B – The Resurrection of the Lord – The Mass of Easter Day

Lord of Life 8. Doctors of Death

“Coal raised him to life and allowed him to be

seen and appointed him to judge everyone” (Acts)

            Dr. Jayant Patel, an Indo-American was dubbed ‘doctor of death’ because he faced charges of manslaughter in over 80 cases in the USA and Australia. Dr. Patel allegedly lied about his medical qualifications and performed operations causing innumerable deaths. Similarly, Dr. Amit Kumar performed illegal kidney operations on about 500 poor unsuspecting victims and sold their kidneys to rich recipients from the West. History abounds with such ‘doctors of death‘ besides leaders like Hitler and the so-called ‘butcher of the Balkans’ Slobodan Milosevic. Besides these killers, we too – consciously or unconsciously – promote death rather than life. Conversely, Easter exhorts everyone to celebrate the Lord of Life and defy death.

Three L’s – Light, Life, Love – form a tripod upon which today’s liturgy rests, and it is fitting to reflect upon three symbols that form part of the Easter liturgy: the Easter candle, waters of baptism and empty tomb.

            Light and Easter Candle: The Easter Vigil begins with the ‘service of light’. Good Friday hardly seems ‘good’ since evil overpowers good and death triumphs over life. The world appears draped in darkness. But, God dispels the darkness of death and raises Jesus as the ‘Light of the world’. The refrain “Christ, our Light!” sung thrice as the Easter candle is carried aloft symbolizes God’s light emerging from darkness.

            As you light your own little candle, remember Jesus’ words: “You are the light of the world!” (Mt 5: 14) The Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) ends with, “May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning.” Yes, may there ever be oil in our lamps so that we light up our daily dark worlds.

            Life and Baptismal Water: The symbol of water comes alive at Easter: In the Vigil’s first reading, “the Spirit of God moves over the face of the waters” at creation (Gen 1:2). Other readings and responses too richly draw on water symbolisms, for tag, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isa 1223), “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all you uncleanness” (Ezekr 36225), and “Like a deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul yearns for you” (PS 42: l).

            The “liturgy of baptism” reminds us of our own baptism. Lowering the Easter candle into water, the celebrant says, “May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with him to newness of life.” As we renew our baptismal vows, let us resolve anew to reject sin and Satan so that we may be apostles of Life.

            Love and Empty Tomb: Jesus leaves humankind with only one ‘historical proof’ of his resurrection, namely, the empty tomb. Easter tells us that true love does not terminate in tombs but flourishes in the world’s ‘wombs’ where people breathe hope through movements of freedom and their efforts to recreate a new humanity.

            John’s gospel narrative tells us of Mary Magdalene, Peter and john running to the tomb. “They believe,” and in today’s first reading Peter attests, “We have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection.” Jesus will ask that same Peter thrice, “Do you love me?” The emptiness of Jesus’ tomb proves the fullness of Jesus’ Love.

            When you left the womb, you were crying and everyone around you were smiling. Easter exhorts you to live in such a way so that as you are approaching the tomb, you may be smiling and everyone around you, crying. Will we be able to smile as we approach death?

            Little Laila prayed: “Deals God, instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you got now?” The Risen Lord wants us to keep people alive, to defy every doctor of death, and to replicate the resurrection by our own life, light and love so that everyone, everywhere, may echo that Easter song: “Alleluia, Jesus is risen!”


Reading 1 ACTS 10:34A, 37-43
Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Responsorial Psalm PS 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23.
R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
“The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
Reading 2 COL 3:1-4
Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

I COR 5:6B-8
Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast,
so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
to Galilee he goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.
Alleluia CF. 1 COR 5:7B-8A
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed;
let us then feast with joy in the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel JN 20:1-9
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.

Gospel MK 16:1-7

When the sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another,
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter,
‘He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you.'”

Gospel LK 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

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