|Sermon Preparation -
April 4, 1999
The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord's angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it. The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards shook from fear and fell down, as though they were dead.
The angel said to the women, "Don't be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross. He isn't here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where his body was lying. Now hurry! Tell his disciples that he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. That is what I came to tell you."
The women were frightened and yet very happy, as they hurried from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them. They went near him, held on to his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said, "Don't be afraid! Tell my followers to go to Galilee. They will see me there. [CEV]
1. The resurrection of Christ is the pivotal point of the Gospel; yet Matthew reports it briefly. Why? Because when Matthew wrote his Gospel, the Resurrection was considered too great an event to put into writing: Rather, it should be proclaimed and witnessed to by the Spirit at work in the Christian communities.
2. Are we in a different situation? The Church that talks of the Risen Christ should never be a powerful Church but a Risen Church. If the Church finds itself in a situation where there is no apparent hope of salvation, and yet, revives by the power of God; if in each generation, the Church seems doomed to die because of its ancient structure, its worldly ways or the persecution it undergoes, but nevertheless is given new energies and new apostles by the Lord, then the Church is a witness that the Lord has risen and has given her the power to rise.
3. Christian communities proclaim the resurrection better when, for instance, they keep on in spite of the fact that their leaders have gone, or their most valuable apostles are opposed by the mediocre and the bad ones; when the community suffers but, in spite of this, does not lose its happiness.
[these notes are from "Christian Community Bible" - translated, presented and commented for the Christian Communities of the Philippines and the Third World; and for those who seek God.]
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