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Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday of the Holy Week - Easter Vigil

Saturday of the Holy Week, Easter Vigil

Readings: Gen 1:1-2:2; Exo 14:15-15:1; Isa 54:5-14; Isa 55:1-11; Eze 36:16-28; Rom 6:3-11; Mk 16:1-8.

1/ Reading I: NAB Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." Thus evening came, and morning followed-- the first day. 6 Then God said, "Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other." And so it happened: 7 God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. 8 God called the dome "the sky." Evening came, and morning followed-- the second day. 9 Then God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear." And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. 10 God called the dry land "the earth," and the basin of the water he called "the sea." God saw how good it was. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it." And so it happened: 12 the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. 13 Evening came, and morning followed-- the third day. 14 Then God said: "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, 15 and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth." And so it happened: 16 God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. 19 Evening came, and morning followed-- the fourth day. 20 Then God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky." And so it happened: 21 God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, 22 and God blessed them, saying, "Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth." 23 Evening came, and morning followed-- the fifth day. 24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds." And so it happened: 25 God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. 26 Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground." 27 God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." 29 God also said: "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; 30 and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed-- the sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. 2 Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.

2/ Reading II: NAB Exodus 14:15 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16 And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea, split the sea in two, that the Israelites may pass through it on dry land. 17 But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate that they will go in after them. Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and charioteers. 18 The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I receive glory through Pharaoh and his chariots and charioteers." 19 The angel of God, who had been leading Israel's camp, now moved and went around behind them. The column of cloud also, leaving the front, took up its place behind them, 20 so that it came between the camp of the Egyptians and that of Israel. But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed without the rival camps coming any closer together all night long. 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD swept the sea with a strong east wind throughout the night and so turned it into dry land. When the water was thus divided, 22 the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left. 23 The Egyptians followed in pursuit; all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and charioteers went after them right into the midst of the sea. 24 In the night watch just before dawn the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic; 25 and he so clogged their chariot wheels that they could hardly drive. With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel, because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians. 26 Then the LORD told Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and their charioteers." 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth. The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea, when the LORD hurled them into its midst. 28 As the water flowed back, it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh's whole army which had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not a single one of them escaped. 29 But the Israelites had marched on dry land through the midst of the sea, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day from the power of the Egyptians. When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore 31 and beheld the great power that the LORD had shown against the Egyptians, they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses. 15:1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant; horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.

3/ Reading III: NAB Isaiah 54:5 For he who has become your husband is your Maker; his name is the LORD of hosts; Your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth. 6 The LORD calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, A wife married in youth and then cast off, says your God. 7 For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back. 8 In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid my face from you; but with enduring love I take pity on you, says the LORD, your redeemer. 9 This is for me like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah should never again deluge the earth; so I have sworn not to be angry with you, or to rebuke you. 10 Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the LORD, who has mercy on you. 11 O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled, I lay your pavements in carnelians, and your foundations in sapphires; 12 I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of carbuncles, and all your walls of precious stones. 13 All your sons shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. 14 In justice shall you be established, far from the fear of oppression, where destruction cannot come near you.

4/ Reading IV: NAB Isaiah 55:1 All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! 2 Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. 3 Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life. I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David. 4 As I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of nations, 5 So shall you summon a nation you knew not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, Because of the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you. 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. 7 Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; Let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. 9 As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. 10 For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down And do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, 11 So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.

5/ Reading V: NAB Ezekiel 36:16 Thus the word of the LORD came to me: 17 Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land, they defiled it by their conduct and deeds. In my sight their conduct was like the defilement of a menstruous woman. 18 Therefore I poured out my fury upon them (because of the blood which they poured out on the ground, and because they defiled it with idols). 19 I scattered them among the nations, dispersing them over foreign lands; according to their conduct and deeds I judged them. 20 But when they came among the nations (wherever they came), they served to profane my holy name, because it was said of them: "These are the people of the LORD, yet they had to leave their land." 21 So I have relented because of my holy name which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they came. 22 Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD: Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, in whose midst you have profaned it. Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when in their sight I prove my holiness through you. 24 For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. 27 I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. 28 You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

6/ Reading VI: NAB Romans 6:3 Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. 5 For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. 7 For a dead person has been absolved from sin. 8 If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. 10 As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. 11 Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as (being) dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.

7/ Gospel: NAB Mark 16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. 2 Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. 3 They were saying to one another, "Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. 5 On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. 6 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. 7 But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'" 8 Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

 

I. THEME: God’s history of salvation

            The Lord God whom we worship is the only God in this universe. The fact that He let His Only Son, Jesus Christ, resurrect from the death, proves this again. When we look back at the history of salvation, we learn that God creates and controls everything in this world. He chose the Israelites as His people to prepare for the Messiah to come. He is faithful with His promise to care for and to protect people though they betrayed Him many times. He always finds the ways to save people through the Exodus event and the liberation of the Israelites from the exile back to their country. But the most important fact of the history of salvation is to send the Messiah to incarnate in a human body to redeem people. The Messiah went through his Passion, Death and Resurrection is the center of the mystery of the salvation which we are celebrating this night.

            The Church wants the faithful to look back at the history of salvation through the liturgy of the Word, beginning with the creation of the universe and humankind and concluding with Christ’s resurrection. If the situation permits, the Church encourages the faithful to read seven readings. Where it isn’t possible, the Church permits to read three readings: the Exodus, the meanings of Baptism in the Letter to the Romans, and Christ’s resurrection according to St. Mark. The local churches usually read five readings: the Genesis account of creation, the passage of recreating the new heart and spirit of the prophet Ezekiel and three required readings. Two readings from Isaiah about God’s faithful love for His people and what shall happen when the Messiah’s reign comes, are added if the time permits to read all seven readings.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: God created heaven and earth and everything in it.

            This account of creation is very important for those who want to take away the right to live from the unborns, the elders and the terminate diseases. People have no right to life, they are bestowed life to protect it. The food which God created are never run out, because the seed has potential to bear many other seeds, the birds of the air continuously give birth to their young, the fish of the sea have so many eggs, the animals have potential to beget many others. Therefore, God also commanded people to give birth and to fill up the earth. People can’t take away the right to life of anyone because of their lacking of food.

            (1) The first day, God created light and darkness: “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." Thus evening came, and morning followed-- the first day.”

            (2) The second day, God created the heaven: “Then God said, "Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other." And so it happened: God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. God called the dome "the sky." Evening came, and morning followed-- the second day.”

            (3) The third day, God created the earth and all the plants: “Then God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear." And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. God called the dry land "the earth," and the basin of the water he called "the sea." God saw how good it was. Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it." And so it happened: the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed-- the third day.”

            (4) The fourth day, God created the sun, the moon and all the stars of the universe: “Then God said: "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth." And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed-- the fourth day.”

            (5) The fifth day, God created all birds of the air and fishes under sea: “Then God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky." And so it happened: God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying, "Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth." Evening came, and morning followed-- the fifth day.”

            (6) The sixth day, God created animals and human beings on the same day:

            - Animals: “Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds." And so it happened: God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was.”

            - Human beings: “Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground." God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." God also said: "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed-- the sixth day.”

            (7) The seventh day, God rested: “Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.”

2/ Reading II: The great power of the Lord had shown against the Egyptians.

            After Joseph passed away, the new king ascended to the throne. He didn’t remember anything which Joseph had done to his country. He maltreated the Israelites and made them to be slaves for the Egyptians. The Israelites cried out to God and He chose Moses and Aaron to liberate the Israelites from the Egyptians.

            (1) God’s plan of saving was revealed to Moses: “The Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea, split the sea in two, that the Israelites may pass through it on dry land. But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate that they will go in after them. Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and charioteers. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I receive glory through Pharaoh and his chariots and charioteers."”

            (2) The Israelites safely went through the Red Sea: To get out of Egypt, the Israelites must cross the Red Sea. How could they cross the sea without boats or ships, especially for such a crowd and animals? Nothing is impossible to God; He divided the sea into two walls of water and the Israelites could cross the sea by their feet. The author described this miracle as follows: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord swept the sea with a strong east wind throughout the night and so turned it into dry land. When the water was thus divided, the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left. The Egyptians followed in pursuit; all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and charioteers went after them right into the midst of the sea.”

            (3) God completely destroyed Pharaoh’s whole armies in the Red Sea: The reason why God must do that because Pharaoh was so stubborn. God gave him many chances to withdraw so that his people should not be destroyed; but he was so persistent to follow his own design. Therefore, God must act to let him know the result of his stubborness: “In the night watch just before dawn, the Lord cast through the column of the fiery cloud upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic; and he so clogged their chariot wheels that they could hardly drive. With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel, because the Lord was fighting for them against the Egyptians.”

            “Then the Lord told Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and their charioteers." So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth. The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea, when the Lord hurled them into its midst. As the water flowed back, it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh's whole army which had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not a single one of them escaped.”

            (4) The Israelites saw God’s power and believed in Him: “But the Israelites had marched on dry land through the midst of the sea, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel on that day from the power of the Egyptians. When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore and beheld the great power that the Lord had shown against the Egyptians, they feared the Lord and believed in him and in his servant Moses. Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: I will sing to the Lord, for he is gloriously triumphant; horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.”

3/ Reading III: God faithfully loves people till the end.

3.1/ God’s love to Israel was compared as the love between husband and wife: There is no intimate love as strong as the love between a husband and his wife. The prophet Isaiah compared God’s love for the Israelites as intimate as this love.

            - God is seen as the husband: “For He who has become your husband is your Maker; his name is the Lord of hosts; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth.”

            - Israel is seen as the unfaithful wife: “The Lord calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, a wife married in youth and then cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back. In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid my face from you; but with enduring love I take pity on you, says the Lord, your redeemer.”

3.2/ God’s love for people is an everlasting love.

            - God punished and then had mercy: “This is for me like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah should never again deluge the earth; so I have sworn not to be angry with you, or to rebuke you. Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”

            - He shall let people back to Jerusalem to re-establish it: “O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled, I lay your pavements in carnelians, and your foundations in sapphires; I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of carbuncles, and all your walls of precious stones.”

            - He shall protect the Israelites’ children: “All your sons shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. In justice shall you be established, far from the fear of oppression, where destruction cannot come near you.”

4/ Reading IV: What shall happen when the Messiah’s age dawns.

4.1/ The prophecy about the sacrament of the Eucharist: “All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life.”

4.2/ The prophecy about the New Covenant: The one from David’s lineage shall be a king to govern people.

            (1) The New Covenant is the lasting covenant: “I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David. As I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of nations, so shall you summon a nation you knew not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.” The new king shall govern all nations, not only Israel.

            (2) Isaiah advised people to return to God: “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near. Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; Let him turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.”

4.3/ The differences between God and man:

            (1) In thought and in way: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”

            (2) The effect of God’s words: “For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.”

5/ Reading V: I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit in your mind.

5.1/ Israel defiled both their ancestors’ and the exile’s lands: The prophet Ezekiel and the Israelites must painfully live on exile because they sinned against God. During the exile, God continuously called them to repent and to return to God; but they didn’t listen. They continued to defame God’s name and to defile also the exile’s land.

            Ezekiel reported to the Israelites what God said to him: “Thus the word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land, they defiled it by their conduct and deeds. In my sight their conduct was like the defilement of a menstruous woman. Therefore I poured out my fury upon them (because of the blood which they poured out on the ground, and because they defiled it with idols). I scattered them among the nations, dispersing them over foreign lands; according to their conduct and deeds I judged them. But when they came among the nations (wherever they came), they served to profane my holy name, because it was said of them: "These are the people of the Lord, yet they had to leave their land." So I have relented because of my holy name which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they came.”

5.2/ God shall purify people due to His Name, not because of the Israelites’ good: God commanded the prophet to say these words to the Israelites: “Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord God: Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you profaned among the nations to which you came. I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, in whose midst you have profaned it. Thus the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.” God shall do three things for the Israelites:

            (1) God shall let people come back to their country: “For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land.”

            (2) God shall purify His people: “I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees.”

            (3) God shall re-establish His relationship with Israel: “You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

6/ Reading VI: If we die with Christ, we shall be resurrected with him.

6.1/ The meanings of Baptism: St. Paul emphasized two dimensions of the sacrament of Baptism:

            (1) The descending dimension is to emerge in Christ’s death: “Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death.”

            (2) The ascending dimension is to gloriously resurrect with him: “So that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For, if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.”

6.2/ How to live the promises of the sacrament of Baptism:

            (1) Must forfeit our own self and sinful life: “We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin.”

            (2) Must put on Christ and live a new life in God: This life is the life of virtues and of grace: “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as (being) dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.”

7/ Gospel: He raised up and was no longer here.

7.1/ Human thinking: These women witnessed Jesus’ death on the cross and his burial in the tomb. When they buried Jesus’ body, they didn’t anoint Jesus’ body because it was the Sabbath. They eagerly waited for the next morning to anoint him. The tradition believes it is a shame for those who have no one to anoint for.

            (1) Preparing to anoint God’s body: “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.”

            (2) Their worry of moving the tomb’s stone: All apostles ran away because they were afraid of the Jews. These women can easily go back and forth because the Jews had little regard for women. They were worry about rolling the stone out of Jesus’ 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.  

7.2/ The Resurrected News: The women didn’t understand what it means “resurrected from the death;” because Jewish tradition had a vague idea about the life after death. They didn’t think Jesus has been resurrected from the death.

            (1) The angel’s explannation: “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.”

            They didn’t see Jesus’ body, but a young man sitting there; this made them even more afraid. How could they believe in his word? They didn’t dare to ask. They might think as Mary Magdala in John’s account: “This man might steal his body!”

            (2) The apostles shall be seen Jesus in Galilee: The angel continued, “But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.’” Before the Passion, Jesus foretold that he shall go to Galilee before them, and he hoped to see them there.

            The women’s reaction: “Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - The God we worship is the true God. He has the power to create everything, to liberate people from all dangers, and faithfully loves us till the end.

            - God creates people with a purpose which is for them to enjoy eternal happiness with Him after their life on earth.

            - Since Jesus has died and gloriously resurrected; if we die with him, we shall also gloriously resurrected with him.

            - We should try to reach our ultimate end which is the eternal life with God in heaven.

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