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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Both Peter and Cornelius

Easter Sunday

“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.” John 20:1

Our Gospel reading from John captures the initial confusion of Jesus’ followers on Easter morning. Mary thinks the body has been stolen, and the two disciples see an empty tomb, but do not understand. We can sympathize with their initial misreading, as they are interpreting what happened within how they understand the way the world works: Jesus was crushed by the authorities—end of story. Jesus’ later appearances to them will dramatically shift their perception of God, the world, and themselves.

This work of re-interpreting the world in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus continues today. In his passion and death, Jesus showed that true power, God’s power, emerges through humility and forgiveness. We join in the death and resurrection of Jesus when we surrender the attractions of power, status, and comfort, and embrace non-violence, service, and care for the suffering. The path to bringing peace and goodness to the world is not through seeking control, but through sacrificial love.

Cornelius the centurion kneeling in front of St. Peter

Peter’s speech in today’s passage from Acts summarizes the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The speech occurs within his encounter with Cornelius, a Roman centurion and his household. We can perhaps imagine being Cornelius, led by God to hear the story of Jesus. Or we can imagine being Peter, led by the Spirit to share the Good News of Jesus. As followers of Christ, we are called to embrace both, in our imaginations and our lives.

We are continually called to hear the story of Jesus. We know that God’s Good News has entered us, but also know that it has not. There is much in our hearts that needs conversion and begs for God’s mercy, so we always seek God’s challenging and healing word. We are also continually called to share the story of Jesus, sometimes directly but more often in our actions. Our lives can speak of God’s love, healing and encouraging others. We are both Peter and Cornelius.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-11; Mt 28:8-15
Tuesday: Acts 2:36-41; Ps 33:4-5, 18-20, 22; Jn 20:11-18
Wednesday: Acts 3:1-10; Ps 105:1-4, 6-9; Lk 24:13-35
Thursday: Acts 3:11-26; Ps 8:2, 5-9; Lk 24:35-48
Friday: Acts 4:1-12; Ps 118:1-2, 4, 22-27; Jn 21:1-14
Saturday: Acts 4:13-21; Ps 118:1, 14-21; Mk 16:9-15
Sunday: Acts 5:12-16; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; Rv 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19; Jn 20:19-31

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord; Julian Calendar Palm Sunday
Monday: Monday within the Octave of Easter
Tuesday: Tuesday within the Octave of Easter
Wednesday: Wednesday within the Octave of Easter
Thursday: Thursday within the Octave of Easter
Friday: Friday within the Octave of Easter; Julian Calendar Good Friday; Earth Day
Saturday: Saturday within the Octave of Easter

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