Hosanna! He is risen! Alleluia! We celebrate with joyful hearts the resurrection of our Lord and the promise of salvation for each of us. Today as we reflect on the readings, we learn the answer to the question, “What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean for me?”
The focus of the first and second readings is not the amazement of Jesus' resurrection, it is the reality that we must be people of action. It says in Acts of the Apostles, we must “testify that He is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.” We must say that Jesus is the one that the prophets speak of and “that everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins through His name.”
Mary Magdalene was the first person spurned to action by the risen Lord. She saw His body was missing from the tomb and ran to tell the others. Mary Magdalene is very important to the Order of Preachers (aka Dominicans) because she was the first who preached the gospel of the risen Lord. In pictures she is often painted with a rainbow. The rainbow is the symbol of the covenant between God and Noah. It signifies that God would no longer destroy the earth, but protect it and the people who followed Him.
The cross is also a symbol of God's protection. While the cross was a symbol of death to the people of Israel, to us it is a symbol of life. Without the cross, there could be no resurrection. Without His death and resurrection, Jesus would be an extraordinary man, but not the Son of God. Who can die and rise from the dead? No human person can do that of their own will, but the Son of God can. Jesus is the one that the prophets spoke about. He came to create a new Kingdom, not here on earth, but in heaven above. We should take comfort in the cross and resurrection. We should also take to heart our new responsibility. The Psalm lays it out so clearly for us when it proclaims, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”