The stone removed
April 8th, 2012 (see other dates)
The Resurrection of the Lord
Discussion Questions for Reading 1If you had to write a want ad for an effective Christian preacher, what desired qualities or characteristics would you list? Why? When you are listening to a sermon or homily, what helps you to really hear and remember the message? What do you think made Peter such a powerful communicator of the good news?
How do young people act as witnesses to the risen Lord? In what ways can we communicate the joy of Easter and of following Jesus?
Reading 1 Acts 10:34a,37-43
Reading 1 ReflectionIf Peter had been a TV anchorperson, he could not have summed up the entire gospel story any better than he does here. He is speaking to people who are not yet followers of Christ. So he starts out with Jesus' baptism, describes his ministry of healing and doing good works, and follows him through his Passion, death, and resurrection. Then the apostle verifies his report by saying that he and the other disciples are eyewitnesses. Not only have they seen the risen Jesus, but they have also shared meals with him.
Now it is up to all the baptized to preach and bear witness to the gospel of the risen Lord.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Look back at the reading and choose one statement that is most meaningful to you. Explain your choice. What are some of the ways we can tell what people have set their hearts on? How can we be witnesses to choosing the things that matter to Jesus? What do you think are some of the "higher things" we should value highly?
Reading 2 Colossians 3:1-4
Reading 2 ReflectionThe early Christians who first read this letter must have sat up and taken notice when they came to the line, "After all, you have died!" The writer did not, of course, mean that they were ghosts roaming the earth. He was reminding them that through Baptism, they shared in the death and new life of Jesus Christ.
What the baptized have died to is the old life of sin. We no longer set our hearts on the passing things of this world because we know that we will one day be raised up with Christ.
Discussion Questions for GospelWhy do you think Mary Magdalene, Peter and John did not at first know what to make of the empty tomb? If you had been among them, what might you have seen as a "clue" inside the tomb? How do you think John interpreted this clue? Name some of the things this reading reveals to you about these three disciples.
Like the first disciples, we are not always completely fearless and faithful witnesses to the risen Jesus. But he has chosen us just the same! Name one quality or skill you can use to help others experience the joy of following Jesus.
Gospel John 20:1-9
Gospel ReflectionImagine the headlines that might accompany this Easter gospel: "Woman Finds Tomb Empty," "Race to Tomb Lost by Peter," "Burial Shroud Mysteriously Vacated." John's account makes it clear that Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the empty tomb. Like Peter and John, she did not at first understand that Jesus had risen from the dead.
In an historical time when women were not allowed to testify in a court of law, Jesus chose a woman to be the first witness to the empty tomb and to the risen Lord himself. The very next story in John's Gospel tells us how Mary Magdalene meets the risen Jesus and he sends her to announce to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord" (John 20:18).
Whenever we hear this or any other Easter gospel proclaimed, we can rejoice that we too have been chosen as witnesses that Jesus is the Son of God who has risen from the dead.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
A Symbol of New LifeMake a symbol of new life to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Provide a coffee filter for each child. Prepare "paint" by mixing small amounts of water with various colors of food coloring. Give the children cotton swabs to use as paint brushes. Have the children dip the cotton swabs in the colored water and then "paint" the coffee filters. When dry, form these into butterflies by gathering the coffee filters in the middle and wrapping half of a black pipe cleaner around them.
Signs of New LifeGive each child an outline of an egg on plain paper. Have them find pictures of new life in magazines and cut these out. Encourage them to glue these on the egg to make a new life collage.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Announcing the NewsWith your group, write and present a TV or radio news announcement based on today's Easter readings. Your report may include interviews with the disciples at the tomb and a commentary by an anchorperson. You might also include an appropriate sponsor for the gospel news program.
Sharing the Joy"This is the day the Lord has made!" Easter Sunday is the greatest feast day of the entire Church year. We share our joy in the risen Christ's victory over death. And we rejoice that one day we too will rise with him. Alleluia!
Plan together how your group will share Easter joy with others in the school or parish. Select any or all of the following activities and decide how to include them.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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