"If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above." (Colossians 3:1)
What a beautiful day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia! Alleluia!
After many weeks of penitential preparation (personal house cleaning), we arise today as new persons in Christ Jesus. We have recognized and removed those stumbling blocks in our lives keeping us from Jesus, and strengthened those virtues that lead us to a deeper relationship with him.
Today’s First Reading is a wonderful example of how God the Father through the Holy Spirit works in our lives. In it, Peter proclaims the resurrection of Jesus in the home of a high-ranking Roman centurion named Cornelius, but it is important to dig deeper to understand how he came to be in that place.
Earlier in Acts 10, Scripture tells us that Cornelius was devout and God-fearing, along with his entire household, and gave alms and prayed to the God of the Israelites constantly.
God heard Cornelius’ prayers and sent an angel to him with detailed instructions on where to find the Apostle Peter and to summon him to his home.
Peter, at the same time, had a vision where a sheet from heaven came down and showed him all the creatures of the world, and the angel said to him, “Get up, slaughter, and eat.” But Peter replied “no” because he had “never eaten anything profane and unclean,” to which the angel responded, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane” (Acts 10: 13-15).
Then the angel said there were men at his door, “Get up, go downstairs, and accompany them without hesitation” (Acts 10: 20). With that said, they all went to the home of Cornelius.
At this time, it was unlawful for a Jewish man to enter the household of a Gentile. But God instructed Peter to enter Cornelius’ house because of Peter’s vision and the angel saying, “what God has made clean…”
With all this being done as God directed, Peter proclaimed the Good News of Jesus. Then the Holy Spirit came upon the entire household who were gathered to listen to Peter’s witness, and they were baptized in the Spirit.
This was the first step toward salvation for Gentiles like you and me.
The Second Reading from Corinthians goes hand in hand with the First, reminding us all to stay focused on Jesus who is above and to stop desiring what is on earth below, because the greater gift is eternity in heaven.
The Gospel from John tells of what Mary, the first witness of the Resurrection, together with John and Peter, experienced upon entering the empty tomb. They were confused and afraid because they did not understand what Jesus meant when he told them he was to rise from the dead.
Simply stated, the readings of today challenge you and me to “let Go and let God,” do not be confused, and rejoice in the Good News of Jesus, because our reward is eternity in Heaven if we have faith and believe.
A Joyful Easter Season to All!