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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 04-08-12, The Resurrection of the Lord ^ | 04-08-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 04/07/2012 9:03:35 PM PDT by Salvation

April 8, 2012

The Resurrection of the Lord
The Mass of Easter Sunday


Reading 1 Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Peter proceeded to speak and said:
"You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him

will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23.

R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
"The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD."
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 Col 3:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,

then you too will appear with him in glory.

Or 1 Cor 5:6b-8

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast,
so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Gospel Jn 20:1-9

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.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
"They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don't know where they put him."
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture

that he had to rise from the dead.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; easter; eucharist; prayer; resurrection
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: John 20:1-9

The Resurrection of the Lord

They did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. (John 20:9)

What a humble statement! Here is John, the beloved apostle, admit­ting that he hadn’t yet grasped the truth that Jesus would rise from the dead. And not only John but Peter and the other apostles doubted that possibility. Even Mary Magdalene, who saw the empty tomb, supposed that someone had stolen Jesus’ body (John 20:2).

Now, Jesus had told his apostles that this would happen (Matthew 16:21). They saw him raise other people from death (Luke 7:11-17; John 11:38-44). They believed in Jesus. They trusted him. They even confessed him as the Son of God. But as you might imagine, the idea of a resurrection is not the easiest thing to believe!

All that changed, however, when they found themselves face-to-face with the risen Lord. Actually seeing Jesus alive convinced them. It filled them with faith and gave them the boldness they needed to build the church.

So here we are celebrating Easter two thousand years later. Unlike the apostles, most of us have not seen Jesus. We have to trust in him based on the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, the proclamation of the church, and the teachings that we find in Scripture. But we do have one thing that the apostles didn’t have: the witness of their lives! We have the stories of how fully they devoted themselves to Jesus. We have the accounts of their sacrifices for the church, the persecutions they endured, and even the martyrdom that many of them suffered. Would they really go through all of this just to keep a “myth” alive? Not likely!

Today, as we celebrate Easter, let’s listen to the witness of the apostles. They met Jesus, and they found new boldness and courage to believe. Surely, if it happened for them, it can happen for us!

“All praise to you, Lord Jesus, for your resurrection! Help me to believe in you more each day.”

Acts 10:34,37-43; Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23; Colossians 3:1-4

41 posted on 04/08/2012 5:30:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim


(A biblical refection on EASTER SUNDAY, April 8, 2012) 

One of the various readings at the Easter Sunday: 1Corinthians 5:6-8 

The Scripture Text 

Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1Cor 5:6-8) 

Wouldn’t it be exciting to “rewind” history and be present on Easter morning when the apostles arrived at the tomb? We could share their wonder as they realized that Jesus’ body had not been removed by anyone; He had been raised by the Father. We could experience their joy as the wonderful realities sank into their hearts and minds – how much Jesus loved them; how God had planned from all time to redeem us by the cross; how Satan was robbed of what he expected to be his moment of triumph. We could rejoice as it became clear to them that in Christ everyone could be raised up from sin and death and brought into the Kingdom of God.

The feast of the resurrection of Christ is the day of the Church’s highest rejoicing. It is the day of victory and triumph – the day of the defeat of Satan, sin, and death. In Christ, all the darkness that had separated us from God has been destroyed. Earth and heaven are reunited; creation and the Creator are brought back together; the curse has been lifted; we have been reconciled with God!

Saint Paul exhorted the Corinthians to celebrate the festival of Jesus’ resurrection “not with the old leaven … but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Cor 5:8). How fitting that he would use the image of yeast to describe the old life of sin that Jesus had destroyed. Like yeast, sin works its way into the whole of our personality, causing us to rise up in pride and boasting. It is so pervasive that only Jesus – with the fullness of the power of God – could remove it from us.

We rejoice today because Jesus has died to sin and is now risen to new life. He is the “unleavened bread” of the new covenant and, in Him, we are freed from the yeast of the old life. Now, by the power of the Spirit, we can surrender our lives to Him and be set free from the old life of sin. Christ has triumphed, and in Him we are victors! Let us rejoice in Him today!

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, look with mercy and favor on Your entire Church. Bring lasting salvation to mankind, so that the world may see the fallen lifted up, the old made new, and all things brought to perfection, through Him who is their origin, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

42 posted on 04/08/2012 5:38:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation
Sunday Scripture Study

Easter Sunday  - Cycle B

April 8, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Psalm: 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4

Gospel Reading: John 20:1-9

  • On the third day after Jesus’ death on the cross Mary Magdalene, accompanied by some other women (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55—24:1), come to the tomb fully expecting to find Jesus’ body. Imagine her reaction when she finds the heavy stone rolled back and the body gone! Her first thought was to run to tell Peter, the leader of the remaining apostles.
  • Although Peter at first doubted her story (Luke 24:11), he and “the other apostle” (by tradition, John), also run to the tomb. They find the burial cloths in such a state that made it clear that the body had not been stolen (verses 6-7). At this point, they still could not grasp that Jesus had risen, as he predicted he would. Later, however, they would have no doubt.
  • That Jesus rose from the dead is the most well-attested miracle in Scripture. The Old Testament foretold it; Jesus predicted it on more than one occasion; it was confirmed by his several appearances (John 20:19—21:1; Acts 1:3; Luke 24:13-35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). It was even verified by the Roman soldiers guarding his tomb ((Matthew 28:11-15)! Let us rejoice today that Jesus has defeated sin and death—Alleluia! He is risen indeed!



  • The 2nd reading speaks of us being “raised in Christ”. In what tense is this spoken of: past, present, or future? What does St. Paul say is our destiny in Christ?
  • Put yourself in the place of Mary Magdalene in the Gospel reading. What is your emotional state in the days following the crucifixion? Why do you go to the tomb so early? How do you react to the empty tomb? To what can you compare her joy at meeting the risen Lord?
  • According to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, how long was Jesus dead and his body in the tomb (John 2:18-22; Acts 10:40; CCC 994)? What did Jesus do for that time while in the tomb (1 Peter 3:19, 4:6; CCC 631-33)?
  • What had the disciples been told in advance about Jesus rising from the dead (Matthew 16:21, 27:63)? How do the positions of the linen shroud and the napkin provide corroborating evidence of the Resurrection? What is your proof that Jesus rose from the dead?
  • How should we respond to the empty tomb? Why did John preach the message (John 19:35, 17:20; 1 John 5:13)? When a loved one dies or life seems cruel or a drudgery, how does the Resurrection of Jesus help you deal with your pain?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 2174, 515, 631-658


"Alleluia! Christ is truly risen! We can make absolutely no qualification of this fact whatsoever. Christ has really, truly, and substantially risen, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, from the dead. The whole Christ has risen indeed for the completion of the work of our redemption…For just as by dying He endured all evil to deliver us from evil, so was He glorified in rising to advance us to good things, according to Romans 4:25 which says that 'He was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification' "  ~St. Thomas Aquinas

44 posted on 04/08/2012 5:51:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for April 8, 2012:

(Easter)  Celebrate new life today! Recall a hardship in your marriage that is now history. Rejoice that you’ve weathered it together. Remember this, and Jesus’ resurrection, in future tough times.

45 posted on 04/08/2012 6:20:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Slide Rule
Pastor’s Column
Easter Sunday 2012
When I was young I fell in love with astronomy and read every book I could get my hands on; later, I wanted to be a doctor. Well, both of these “scientific” professions would have been great, except for one problem: I was failing chemistry. I have to admit that I was a straight A student, and here I was getting a D minus, and this was a grade of compassion. It didn’t help that the chemistry teacher was a sourpuss and a poor communicator!
          What was the real problem? I could not figure out how to use a slide rule (this occurred a couple of years before calculators were permitted). I know this sounds like the dark ages to some of you and, yes, this was a time when a pocket calculator was advanced technology!   I am convinced that if I had had access to a calculator, I would be a physician today. Instead, here I was, failing chemistry in high school, the ruins of my future career at hand, and I remember looking out the window and the Lord said to me, “Don’t worry about this. I want you to be a priest.” And that was that. Two years later slide rules were in the Smithsonian, but the priesthood remains. That was the moment of death and resurrection.
          Are you in the midst of a disaster in your life at this time? Don’t you know that resurrection always follows a period of dying? It is the way of all things. It is God’s way. He will work this disaster you are experiencing into good in your life, just like he did with Jesus.
          Sometimes we need a disaster to wake us up and get us where we need to be. Sometimes something needs to die before we can experience the resurrection from the dead!! Is something or someone dying in your life? Are you experiencing a disaster? Do you have a “slide rule” that is killing you? As they say, the back of one door is the front of another!
          I really do believe many of you are in that chemistry class of life right now. Many of you loved this subject and excelled, but God is often closest to us in the disasters, trials and sufferings of life. Have you given up hope? Are you afraid of the future? We, in faith, can look at the resurrection of Jesus and begin to see the physics of the future and the truly exciting world that God is calling you to.
          Jesus is calling each of us today from the future. You are an eternal being. Jesus waits for you to have faith in him and his church. He wants us to understand that what happened to him in the resurrection of the dead will also happen to you who believe in him; the physical laws of his glorified body you will also share; the sufferings of the present will lead to a resurrection, and your trials will have meaning in the next life. 
          And if you are having trouble with some “slide rule” in your life at the present time, cheer up. After death, comes resurrection. After night, comes day. Allow God to speak through the “slide-rule” moments of your life and watch what happens.
                                                                                                    Father Gary

46 posted on 04/08/2012 6:49:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
"Why do you search for the Living One among the dead?" (Lk 24: 5)
"Why do you search for the Living One among the dead?" (Lk 24: 5) The 3 Mary's- Adolph Bouguerea

Apr 6, 2012


He saw and believe.  " Do I?

Acts 10: 34a, 37-43
Colossians 3: 1-4

John 20: 1-5

President Ronald Reagan frequently used a phrase when discussing relations between the United States and the Soviet Union which is often quoted: “Trust but verify.” Actually this is a well-known Russian proverb that Reagan enjoyed so much that one time his counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev stated, “You repeat that at every meeting!” Reagan responded, “I like it.”

Clearly what the proverb implies is that a relationship between people can be built on trust but that trust will only be won by the other party when the reason for trust is checked out.  “Once I can confirm that you are telling me the truth, I will trust you.” So it begins with a positive but uncertain basis that hopefully ends over time in genuine confidence.   If you’re describing political and international relations between countries, or scientific theory, this proverb is valuable.

But, in the realm of faith and in the fantastic claim of the Resurrection of Christ we may have to take a bit different approach.  The story of Jesus’ resurrection has been labeled by critics of religion and people of faith as fairy tale, delusion, or a desperate attempt by followers of Jesus to keep his memory alive. Yet, more than 2,000 years later, we are still claiming this same truth.  But, how does one verify the Resurrection of Jesus?

What proof did the Apostles, the first to make this astounding claim that their teacher, prophet, and wonder-worker who had just three days before been brutally executed by the Roman forces, is now alive – return from the dead! It all began with their testimony, after all.

First, they needed to be convinced themselves.  Jesus would often make statements which alluded to his arrest, death, and his return three days later.  When he walked through the outer court of the Temple in Jerusalem and in a fury turned over the tables of money changers bilking people coming to offer sacrifice he challenged: “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” (Jn 2: 19).

The Apostles were no doubt somewhat confused by Jesus’ cryptic statements but also likely hopeful there was a deeper meaning to what Jesus was claiming. Was he speaking in parable or symbol or was he stating some event for the future? When chided by Jewish authorities of his time, Jesus would claim that his works (miracles) were proof that all he said was true. “Trust me because of what I do, not just what I say.” Veracity was a cherished and essential point in ancient times. 

So, according to the Gospel of John we hear on Easter morning (Jn 20: 1-9) Mary of Magdala was the first to find the tomb of Jesus now empty that early Sunday morning. John tells us that she “ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved (John), and told them ‘They have taken the Lord from the tomb . . .’” Mary announces the empty tomb but not the resurrection.  She naturally fears that the body of Jesus has been stolen.

Peter and John run in order to verify her claim. We have no idea what was in the mind and heart of either of these disciples but clearly they were eager to see. Once they arrived, still no risen Lord but the empty tomb and burial cloths (Shroud of Turin?). John goes in to the tomb – he sees and believes.  Believes what? That Mary’s story is true or that Jesus has risen? As John indicates, they did yet not understand the Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. Can they now verify that Jesus’ own claim of his resurrection was indeed true?

So, we like the disciples today are faced with the same question.  An empty tomb, the claim of a woman who indeed loved Jesus, two eager disciples who seek verification and perhaps hope against hope that the body of Jesus was not stolen but something far more mysterious had taken place. 

As the Easter season unfolds, we will hear many more confirmations of the truth of the Resurrection.  Jesus, I assume, must have well known how important it would be to confirm the resurrection through many succeeding proofs.  They will see him, he will eat with them, he will speak to them and to many others, and they will touch him.  And thus they will come to trust in the truth of this astounding claim – that Christ is indeed raised for us.

So, this Easter season is the perfect time to challenge our personal faith and the temptation to be skeptical, to doubt, or simply dismiss the risen presence of Christ as being true. But, in the end, most of us came to believe in the same way that the earliest of Christians did – someone told us it was true and invited me to be open to that possibility. Our family, our friends, parishioners who we met all have played some role in the formation of our faith.  In short, we believe because they believe.

We come to know someone who believes and invites us to open our hearts; we see their lives lived and we are inspired.  We visit a vibrant and loving community of Christians and realize that there is a deeper reason for them to live as they do than just being nice people. 

Verification is provided through the lives of so many martyrs in Christian history who went to their own deaths rather than deny their faith. Christ was alive for them and he remains so for us.  The lives of our saintly brothers and sisters tell us that being a Christian is standing in trust of a God who poured out his life that we may live fully alive.

The resurrection claims of Christ are fantastic to say the least.  But, with God all things are possible and the transformation of our lives from sin to virtue become possible because of Christ who is alive. 

In the Eucharist we encounter him along with our brothers and sisters.  We are standing before the empty tomb every time we profess faith in the Lord and live that out in his Holy Church.  But, are we just staring into darkness or do we run to tell others?

Fr. Tim

47 posted on 04/08/2012 7:17:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 20
1 AND on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Una autem sabbati, Maria Magdalene venit mane, cum adhuc tenebræ essent, ad monumentum : et vidit lapidem sublatum a monumento. τη δε μια των σαββατων μαρια η μαγδαληνη ερχεται πρωι σκοτιας ετι ουσης εις το μνημειον και βλεπει τον λιθον ηρμενον εκ του μνημειου
2 She ran, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Cucurrit ergo, et venit ad Simonem Petrum, et ad alium discipulum, quem amabat Jesus, et dicit illis : Tulerunt Dominum de monumento, et nescimus ubi posuerunt eum. τρεχει ουν και ερχεται προς σιμωνα πετρον και προς τον αλλον μαθητην ον εφιλει ο ιησους και λεγει αυτοις ηραν τον κυριον εκ του μνημειου και ουκ οιδαμεν που εθηκαν αυτον
3 Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulchre. Exiit ergo Petrus, et ille alius discipulus, et venerunt ad monumentum. εξηλθεν ουν ο πετρος και ο αλλος μαθητης και ηρχοντο εις το μνημειον
4 And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. Currebant autem duo simul, et ille alius discipulus præcucurrit citius Petro, et venit primus ad monumentum. ετρεχον δε οι δυο ομου και ο αλλος μαθητης προεδραμεν ταχιον του πετρου και ηλθεν πρωτος εις το μνημειον
5 And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in. Et cum se inclinasset, vidit posita linteamina : non tamen introivit. και παρακυψας βλεπει κειμενα τα οθονια ου μεντοι εισηλθεν
6 Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying, Venit ergo Simon Petrus sequens eum, et introivit in monumentum, et vidit linteamina posita, ερχεται ουν σιμων πετρος ακολουθων αυτω και εισηλθεν εις το μνημειον και θεωρει τα οθονια κειμενα
7 And the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place. et sudarium, quod fuerat super caput ejus, non cum linteaminibus positum, sed separatim involutum in unum locum. και το σουδαριον ο ην επι της κεφαλης αυτου ου μετα των οθονιων κειμενον αλλα χωρις εντετυλιγμενον εις ενα τοπον
8 Then that other disciple also went in, who came first to the sepulchre: and he saw, and believed. Tunc ergo introivit et ille discipulus qui venerat primus ad monumentum : et vidit, et credidit : τοτε ουν εισηλθεν και ο αλλος μαθητης ο ελθων πρωτος εις το μνημειον και ειδεν και επιστευσεν
9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. nondum enim sciebant Scripturam, quia oportebat eum a mortuis resurgere. ουδεπω γαρ ηδεισαν την γραφην οτι δει αυτον εκ νεκρων αναστηναι

48 posted on 04/08/2012 7:26:13 PM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex
1. The first day of the week comes Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, to the sepulcher, and sees the stone taken away from the sepulcher.
2. Then she runs, and comes to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and says to them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him.
3. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher.
4. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher.
5. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying: yet went he not in.
6. Then comes Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeing the linen clothes lie,
7. And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself:
8. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.
9. For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

CHRYS. The Sabbath being now over, during which it was unlawful to be there, Mary Magdalene could rest no longer, but came very early in the morning, to seek consolation at the grave: The first day of the week comes Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, to the sepulcher.

AUG. Mary Magdalene, undoubtedly the most fervent in love, of all the women that ministered to our Lord; so that John deservedly mentions her only, and says nothing of the others who were with her, as we know from the other Evangelists.

AUG. Una sabbati is the day which Christians call the Lord's day, after our Lord's resurrection. Matthew calls it prima sabbati.

BEDE. Una sabbati, i.e. one day after the sabbath.

THEOPHYL. Or thus: The Jews called the days of the week sabbath, and the first day, one of the sabbaths, which day is a type of the life to come; for that life will be one day not cut short by any night, since God is the sun there, a sun which never sets. On this day then our Lord rose again, with an incorruptible body, even as we in the life to come shall put on incorruption.

AUG. What Mark says, Very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun, does not contradict John's words, when it was yet dark. At the dawn of day, there are yet remains of darkness, which disappear as the light breaks in. We must not understand Mark's words, Very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun, to mean that the sun was above the horizon, but rather what we ourselves ordinarily mean by the phrase, when we want any thing to be done very early, we say at the rising of the sun, i.e. some time before the sun is risen.

GREG. It is well said, When it was yet dark: Mary was seeking the Creator of all things in the tomb, and because she found Him not, thought He was stolen. Truly it was yet dark when she came to the sepulcher.

And sees the stone taken away from the sepulcher.

AUG. Now took place what Matthew only relates, the earthquake, and rolling away of the stone, and fight of the guards.

CHRYS. Our Lord rose while the stone and seal were still on the sepulcher. But as it was necessary that others should be certified of this, the sepulcher is opened after the resurrection, and so the fact confirmed. This it was which roused Mary. For when she saw the stone taken away, she entered not nor looked in, but ran to the disciples with all the speed of love. But as yet she knew nothing for certain about the resurrection, but thought that His body had been carried off.

GLOSS. And therefore she ran to tell the disciples, that they might seek Him with her, or grieve with her: Then she runs, and comes to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved.

AUG. This is the way in which he usually mentions himself. Jesus loved all, but him in an especial and familiar way. And says to them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid Him.

GREG. She puts the part for the whole; she had come only to seek for the body of our Lord, and now she laments that our Lord, the whole of Him, is taken away.

AUG. Some of the Greek copies have, taken away my Lord, which is more expressive of love, and of the feeling of an handmaiden. But only a few have this reading.

CHRYS. The Evangelist does not deprive the woman of this praise, nor leaves out from shame, that they had the news first from her. As soon as they hear it, they hasten to the sepulcher.

GREG. But Peter and John before the others, for they loved most; Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher.

THEOPHYL. But how came they to the sepulcher, while the soldiers were guarding it? an easy question to answer. After our Lord's resurrection and the earthquake, and the appearance of the angel at the sepulcher, the guards withdrew, and told the Pharisees what had happened.

AUG. After saying, came to the sepulcher he goes back and tells us how they came: So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher; meaning himself, but he always speaks of himself, as if he were speaking of another person.

CHRYS. On coming he sees the linen clothes set aside: And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying. But he makes no further search: yet went he not in.

Peter on the other hand, being of a more fervid temper, pursued the search, and examined every thing: Then comes Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and sees the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Which circumstances were proof of His resurrection. For had they carried Him away, they would not have stripped Him; nor, if any had stolen Him, would they have taken the trouble to wrap up the napkin, and put it in a place by itself, apart from the linen clothes; but would have taken away the body as it was. John mentioned the myrrh first of all, for this reason, i.e. to show you that He could not have been stolen away. For myrrh would make the linen adhere to the body, and so caused trouble to the thieves, and they would never have been so senseless as to have taken this unnecessary pains about the matter.

After Peter however, John entered: Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.

AUG. i.e. That Jesus had risen again, some think: Ah, but what follows contradicts this notion. He saw the sepulcher empty, and believed what the woman had said: For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. If he did not yet know that He must rise again from the dead, he could not believe that He had risen. They had heard as much indeed from our Lord, and very openly, but they were so accustomed to hear parables from Him, that they tool; this for a parable, and thought He meant something else.

GREG. But this account of the Evangelist must not be thought to be without some mystical meaning. By John, the younger of the two, the synagogue; by Peter, the elder, the Gentile Church is represented: for as though the synagogue was before the Gentile Church as regards the worship of God, as regards time the Gentile world was before the synagogue. They ran together, because the Gentile world ran side by side with the synagogue from first to last, in respect of purity and community of life, though a purity and community of understanding they had not.

The synagogue came first to the sepulcher, but entered not: it knew the commandments of the law, and had heard the prophecies of our Lord's incarnation and death, but would not believe in Him who died. Then comes Simon Peter, and entered into the sepulcher: the Gentile Church both knew Jesus Christ as dead man, and believed in Him as living God. The napkin about our Lord's head is not found with the linen clothes, i.e. God, the Head of Christ, and the incomprehensible mysteries of the Godhead are removed from our poor knowledge; His power transcends the nature of the creature. And it is found not only apart, but also wrapped together; because of the linen wrapped together, neither beginning nor end is seen; and the height of the Divine nature had neither beginning nor end. And it is into one place: for where there is division, God is not; and they merit His grace, who do not occasion scandal by dividing themselves into sects.

But as a napkin is what is used in laboring to wipe the sweat of the brow, by the napkin here we may understand the labor of God: which napkin is found apart, because the suffering of our Redeemer is far removed from ours; inasmuch as He suffered innocently, that which we suffer justly; He submitted Himself to death voluntarily, we by necessity. But after Peter entered, John entered too; for at the end of the world even Judea shall be gathered in to the true faith.

THEOPHYL. Or thus: Peter is practical and prompt, John contemplative and intelligent, and learned in divine things. Now the contemplative man is generally beforehand in knowledge and intelligence, but the practical by his fervor and activity gets the advance of the other's perception, and sees first into the divine mystery.

Catena Aurea John 20
49 posted on 04/08/2012 7:27:00 PM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex

The Myrrh-bearing women

13th century
San Marco, Venice

50 posted on 04/08/2012 7:28:00 PM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex
Insight Scoop

The Resurrection of Christ: Four Flawed Theories and the Glorious Truth

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, April 8, 2012, The Solemnity of Easter, the Resurrection of the Lord

It is something of a tradition for magazines and newspapers to run articles about the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the weeks leading up to Easter. Scholars, pastors, skeptics, and ordinary people weigh in with their arguments and opinions. Some argue the Resurrection never took place. Down File:Resurrection (24).jpgthrough time there have been a number of arguments made about what really happened on that Sunday some two thousand years ago. Peter Kreeft and Fr. Ronald Tacelli, in Handbook of Catholic Apologetics, outline the four basic theories used to explain away the Resurrection.

The first is that a conspiracy existed to misrepresent what transpired in the aftermath of Jesus’ death. The most ancient variation of this argument was concocted by the chief priests upon discovering the empty tomb: the body of Jesus was stolen by his disciples (Matt 28:11-15).

The second is that the apostles and other disciples—nearly mad with grief and deeply confused—experienced the world’s most dramatic group hallucination. Convinced that they had seen and experienced the impossible, they set out to convince the world of the same.

Another argument—the “swoon theory”— is that Jesus, tortured and exhausted, had not died, but had only passed out for a time until he was revived by his followers.

The final argument, which has a loyal following in different forms among atheists, skeptics, and theologically liberal Christians, is that the Resurrection is a myth. Some insist this does away with the meaning of the Resurrection, while others insist this actually provides a deeper, metaphorical meaning.

There are, of course, many problems with each of these theories. For example, how exactly would a group of frightened fisherman overwhelm Roman guards and move away a huge stone? And why would they, only weeks later, fearlessly proclaim Christ’s Resurrection and then, over the years, accept martyrdom, despite knowing Jesus was actually dead? How is it that hundreds of people (cf., 1 Cor 15:3-8) experienced the same hallucination? How would Jesus, who was ripped to shreds and crucified by trained killers, appear shortly thereafter as physically whole, even glorious in appearance (Jn 20:19-29)?

But it is the theory of the mythical or metaphorical Resurrection that is most disconcerting, especially when embraced by Christians. In today’s reading from Acts, Peter is described stating bluntly, “They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us.” The story of doubting Thomas (Jn. 20:19-29) soundly rejects any such understanding. And today’s Gospel readings all describe real confusion on the part of the disciples and the fact that this confusion was due to a physical Resurrection. “Do not be amazed!” the angel told the women, “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here” (Mk 16:5-6).

The story of the two disciples journeying to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35) emphasizes how belief in the Resurrection is not, in the end, a matter of mere reason or facts, but of a real encounter with the Risen Lord. Having walked and talked at length with Jesus, they still did not recognize him. But when he took break and blessed it and gave it to them—that is, when Jesus gave them Eucharist—their “eyes were opened and they recognized him.” 

“The basic form of Christian faith,” Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in Faith and the Future (Ignatius, 2009), “is not: I believe something, but I believe you.” It’s not that faith is unreasonable; rather, it is finally, in the end, above and beyond reason, although never contrary to reason.

It is ultimately an act of will and love. “We believe, because we love,” wrote John Henry Newman in a sermon titled, “Love the Safeguard of Faith against Superstition.” “The divinely-enlightened mind sees in Christ the very Object whom it desires to love and worship,—the Object correlative of its own affections; and it trusts Him, or believes, from loving Him.”

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in a slightly different form in the April 12, 2009, issue of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)

51 posted on 04/08/2012 7:43:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Empty Tomb, Expectant Heart
Easter Sunday

Father Robert Presutti, LC

John 20:1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran off to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him." So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter, and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down to look in and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not lying with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he had to rise from the dead.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the source of all life because you are life itself. Your resurrection gives me the hope of being raised from the dead to rejoice with you forever in heaven. Thank you for your presence in my life. I love you, and I want to follow after you with all my heart. Be with me now, and inspire my prayer.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me the joy of seeing my hopes constantly kindled by your power over sin and death. May the strength of your resurrection overcome the weaknesses of my human nature.

1. Confusing Signs: Without faith, realities that should inspire hope and expectation only cause confusion. Jesus’ empty tomb is the sign of the most complete victory, the most extreme love and the most powerful presence. Mary Magdalene, Peter and John all see the empty tomb. But their limited faith needs time to grow and completely accept the great gift that is offered to them. In approaching the mystery of God, I must stoke up my faith. Otherwise, what should cause hope and courage will only wind up becoming a stumbling block for me. Only a sincere and generous faith in Christ enables me to take the circumstances of life in hope, confidence and security.

2. Running to the Experience of Faith: Running is an integral part of this Gospel. Mary Magdalene runs. Peter runs, and John outruns Peter. Love for the Lord creates a sense of urgency. What they saw at the tomb could have been seen without running at all. But promptness is a sign of love for the Lord. If I wish to experience Christ and the power of his resurrection, I need to have a sense of urgency in my relationship with the Lord. I must strive to meet him and give myself to him in my here and now. I can’t wait for the “ideal” moment. If I don´t give myself to Christ now, under the present conditions, there is no reason to think I ever will.

3. Faith Begins with the Experience of the Senses, but Does Not End There: John, Peter and Mary Magdalene will eventually have an unshakeable conviction in the Resurrection, and become messengers of the Resurrection. But they first need to see the empty tomb and pick up the wrappings. They would also need to see and touch the risen Christ. All this would cause wonderment, reflection, and eventually a growing realization that would induce faith. God works in the same way in my life. First there are the lived experiences of my life: people I meet, circumstances I face, events that occur… Then my wonderment and reflection on what it all means; Then the slow dawning of faith.

“It is clearly evident that Christ´s resurrection is the greatest Event in the history of salvation, and indeed, we can say in the history of humanity, since it gives definitive meaning to the world. The whole world revolves around the Cross, but only in the resurrection does the Cross reach its full significance of a salvific Event. The Cross and Resurrection constitute the one paschal mystery in which the history of the world is centered. Therefore Easter is the Church´s greatest Solemnity. Every year she celebrates and renews this Event, fraught with all the prophecies of the Old Testament, beginning with the "Protoevangelium" of the Redemption, and of all the eschatological hopes and expectations projected towards the "fullness of time", which was realized when the Kingdom of God definitively entered human history and the universal order of salvation” (John Paul II, General Audience, March 1, 1989).

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you know how to prepare your disciples to experience your presence deeply and know you intimately. I ask today for a deepening in my faith in your resurrection. Let all the events of my life point me to the truth that you are alive.

Resolution: I will be prompt in meeting the duties and responsibilities of today, in the truth of the risen Christ.

52 posted on 04/08/2012 7:57:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


There is this person who has suffered a massive stroke. To complicate
matters, he is diabetic and has pneumonia. Added to these conditions
is the swelling of his brain, thus the doctors predict that at most
this person will last only 48 hours. Operation is an option but the
prognosis is 80% mortality rate and 20% becoming a vegetable. Faced
with expected exorbitant hospital bills, what can the family do? Then
somebody suggested that he be given the anointing of the sick even
though it is past midnight. Fortunately, the priest obliges. After two
hours, the patient becomes a little conscious and requests for writing
materials. Through writing, he expresses his love for his family.
Another CT Scan and more tests reveal that the swelling of the brain
is still there but clinically, the patient is improving. With this
mystery, the family and the doctors could simply cite the miraculous
powers of the Sacrament.

The other story is about a prisoner who is ready to be released. He
has been jailed for estafa and illegal recruitment. He was in prison
for a little over three years, and now he is all set to assume his
family responsibilities. Of course, there is fear, yet he is also
hopeful that people will give him a chance when he will seek
employment in order to support his family.

These are all accounts of hope. After the passion and death of Jesus,
his Father ends his story with a ray of hope. A good man in the person
of Jesus was executed due to his lifestyle of doing good which was not
acceptable to those in authority and power. He had to suffer, be badly
beaten and crucified, but in the end, he is vindicated. Death is
finally conquered and new life comes. Jesus seemed to have been
defeated by death but he was raised from the dead.

In his encyclical entitled “Spe Salvi” (On Christian Hope), His
Holiness Pope Benedict XVI underscores the theme: Man needs God,
otherwise he remains without hope. He develops this idea in relation
to the great solemnity of Easter:

There is criticism of contemporary Christianity in that it has largely
limited its attention to individual salvation instead of the wider
world and thus, reduced the “horizon of its hope.” It is important to
remember that as Christians, we are not to limit ourselves in raising
the question about how I can save myself. We are to be concerned with
others by thinking of ways in order that others may also be saved. In
these past days of the Triduum recollection, what has been underscored
is the notion of communion. Such communion can only be seen and
experienced in the love, concern and unit y of the faithful. This, in
turn, can only be achieved if there is compassion, empathy, and
genuine concern for the welfare of the common good.

Why is it then important to hope? It is for the simple reason, that no
matter how perplexed and confused we are, we are to hang on to the
promise of Jesus who remains alive. Upon seeing the tomb, the other
disciple simply believed. When we find ourselves in situations where
there are competing voices for the truth, we are not to lose hope. It
will still be a long and arduous battle as we aspire for the truth and
justice but rest assured that victory will surely come. This is the
Easter message of hope.

53 posted on 04/08/2012 8:19:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body


<< Sunday, April 8, 2012 >> Easter Sunday
Saint of the Day
Romans 6:3-11 (Vigil Readings)
Acts 10:34, 37-43
Colossians 3:1-4 or
1 Corinthians 5:6-8

View Readings
Mark 16:1-8
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
John 20:1-9



"Let us celebrate the feast not with the old yeast, that of corruption and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." —1 Corinthians 5:8

The Corinthians were struggling to celebrate the Passover in the spirit of sincerity and truth. We also are struggling to celebrate the new Passover, Easter. To recover the true celebration of Easter, we should look at the first Easter day.

On the first Easter morning, Jesus told Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, to go and tell the Good News to His disciples (Mt 28:10). On the first Easter afternoon, Jesus walked about seven miles with two of His disciples and interpreted every passage of Scripture which referred to Him (Lk 24:27). As He did this, the disciples' hearts burned within them (Lk 24:32). At the end of the afternoon, they recognized the risen Jesus in the breaking of the bread, that is, in Holy Communion (Lk 24:35). On the first Easter evening, Jesus opened the apostles' minds to the understanding of the Scriptures (Lk 24:45). He also commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit and gave them the power to absolve sins in His name (Jn 20:22-23).

We truly celebrate Jesus' Resurrection through the power of the Spirit. As on the first Easter, the Spirit will send us forth to evangelize, make God's Word come alive in our hearts, open our eyes to recognize the risen Christ, especially through the Mass, and call us to repentance and Confession. If we follow the Spirit's lead in these ways (see Gal 5:25), we will truly celebrate Easter.

Prayer: Father, after I renew my baptismal promises today, may I never be the same.
Promise: "When Christ our Life appears, then you shall appear with Him in glory." —Col 3:4
Praise: Jesus is risen from the dead! "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it" (Ps 118:24).

54 posted on 04/08/2012 8:27:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

55 posted on 04/08/2012 8:28:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Archdiocese of Washington

Are There Discrepancies in the Resurrection Accounts? If so, can they be resolved?

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

When we read the various accounts of the Resurrection in the four Gospels, Acts and Pauline Epistles we can easily be puzzled by some apparent discrepancies in the details.

The Pope in his recent book, Jesus of Nazareth (Vol II) says, We have to acknowledge that this testimony [of Scripture] considered from an historical point of view, is presented to us in a particularly complex form and gives rise to many questions. (P. 242)

The Pope goes on to explain what he considers to be the reason for this complexity and apparent divergence in some of the details.

What actually happened? Clearly for the witnesses who encountered the risen Lord, it was not easy to say. They were confronted with what, for them, was an entirely new reality, far beyond the limits of their own experience. Much as the reality of the event overwhelmed them and impelled them to bear witness, it was still utterly unlike anything they had previously known. (p. 242).

The Pope then reminds us that Jesus’ resurrection was experienced by them as something far beyond the resuscitation of a corpse. Rather, Jesus had taken up a wholly new and transformed humanity that was beyond anything they could fully describe or had ever experienced.

With all this in mind we are better able to appreciate the ecstatic qualities of the resurrection accounts and appreciate why all their details do not perfectly line up. The accounts have a rather crisp, “lets get to the point” quality; especially the accounts of the first day of the appearances. Frankly, one would be surprised if every detail in the account of an astonishing event were exactly the same. One might even suspect a story that was too controlled and wonder as to a kind of brainwashing or conspiracy having taken place. But as they are, these accounts have every hallmark of the accounts of people who experienced the events truly, but, due to their ecstatic and disorienting quality, recall the details differently or emphasize different facets.

It is important to recall that the Scriptures record the things Jesus actually said and did but they are not written like history is today: Today we attempt or think we write history as an exact chronological and comprehensive analysis of an event or era. But the Scriptures are selective, story-based accounts rather than our modern journalistic approach to history. They will often collect the sayings and deeds of Jesus around certain theological themes, rather than follow an exact time line. The Gosples do not intended to be an exhaustive account of everything Jesus said and did in exact detail (cf Jn 20:30; 21:25). Rather the Evangelists select what is suited to their theological purpose. And yet, despite these distinctions, we must be clear that the gospels are historical accounts, in that they recount the things Jesus actually said and did (cf Dei Verbum # 19)

Now, for the record, there are some apparent, and also real discrepancies in the accounts. The word “apparent” is important though, because not all the discrepancies are real or substantial if we take a closer look at them. Some who wish to cast doubt on the historicity of the Resurrection often wish to make more of these differences than necessary. Many, if not most of the differences can be dealt with quite easily and we are able to ultimately stitch together a reasonably clear account of the resurrection, if we are disposed to do so.

So, lets consider some of the apparent conflicts that emerge in the accounts:

  1. How many women went out to the tomb that morning, one (Jn 20:21) two (Matt 28:1), or three (Mk 16:1)?
  2. Did Magdalene alone go to just Peter and John (Jn 20) or did the several women go to the Apostles (Matt 28; Mk 16)?
  3. How many angels did they see there that morning, one (Matt 28:2; Mk 16:5) or two (Lk 24:4; Jn 20:12)?
  4. Did the women run to the other disciples and tell what they had seen (Mt 28:8; Lk 24:9) or did they say nothing out of fear (Mk 16:8)?
  5. Did Jesus see them first in Galilee (Mk 16:7; Mt 28:9) or in Jerusalem (Jn 20; Lk 24:36)?
  6. Among the Apostles, did he appear to Peter first (Lk 24:34), all eleven at once (Mt. 28:16), or the eleven minus Thomas (Jn 20:24)?
  7. Did Jesus appear to them in a room (Jn 20:19) or a mountaintop (Mt 28:16)?
  8. Lastly, did Jesus ascend on Easter Sunday (Lk 24:50-53; Mk 16:19) or forty days later (Acts 1:3,9)?

At one level some react that some of these details are picky. Who cares really who many women went or how many angels? Perhaps,  but it does not seem wise to simply dismiss the differences this way. Some of the differences ARE quite significant. For example, did Jesus appear to them first in Jerusalem? Luke and John are quite clear that he did. But why then do Mark and Matthew completely ignore this and record that the angel instructed the women to have the disciples go to Galilee where they will see him? Now, as has been stated, these differences can be addressed in a thoughtful manner, but they should not be simply dismissed as of no account.

In what follows I propose to address these differences and give possible resolutions. I am also aware, and expect to hear from some who consider any attempt to resolve these matters “simplistic.” You of course are free to propose other solutions and demonstrate how attempts at a resolution fall short. This is what comments are for. If something seems wrong state why and give evidence or an alternative point of view. So, on to possible solutions.

  1. How many women went out to the tomb that morning, one (John 20:21), two (Matt 28:1) or three (Mk 16:1) and how many angels were there, one (Mk 16:5, Mat 28:2) or two (Lk 24:4, Jn 20:12)? One solution here is to recall that neither John’s Gospel nor Matthew’s absolutely deny that three women went to the tomb that day. They simply do not mention three whereas Mark does. John especially wishes to focus on Mary Magdalene and may have found it unnecessary to mention the others. Additionally, Matthew and Mark’s mention of one angel need not be seen as an absolute denial that there were two as described in Luke and John. Another solution is simply to acknowledge the discrepancies in the accounts but underscore the fact that the number of women and the number of angels is not the central point. The point is that the tomb was discovered empty by one or several women and they were instructed to tell the apostles what they saw and heard.
  2. Matthew (28:8) and Luke (24:9) indicate that the women went and told the disciples of the empty tomb but Mark (16:8) says they were afraid and said nothing. True but in the verses that follow in the appendix to Mark’s own Gospel (Mk. 16:10) Mary Magdalene does in fact tell the apostles. Rather than conflicting with the other texts, Mark may merely supply additional detail about the startled nature of the women, that at first they were startled and said nothing but soon after went on, as Mark in fact says, a did tell the apostles.
  3. Mark (16:7) and Matthew (28:9) indicate, according to the angel’s instructions, that Jesus would see them in Galilee but Luke (24:36 and John 20) describe the first appearances in Jerusalem. In addressing this difference we must recall that the gospels are not written as chronological or complete histories. The evangelists selected events from among the many things Jesus said and did and may also have altered the order. John (20:30 & 21:25) explicitly states that his account is selective. Hence we ought not conclude that any one gospel completely details all the resurrection appearances. It is true Mark and Matthew speak only of appearances in Galilee. Thus these accounts might only include the angelic instructions to go to Galilee since that they did not intend to describe appearances elsewhere. In other words it is possible to speculate that the angelic instructions were more elaborate and included instructions as to being prepared to meet Jesus first in Jerusalem. Matthew and Mark however paired these details down in their accounts since they did not intend to include the Jerusalem appearances in their accounts. This may not satisfy our notions of historical accounts wherein we expect and want a complete accounting of all the details. But, as has already been noted the Scriptures simply do not record history in this way. Rather they are selective accounts that open windows on history but do not claim to exhaustively report it. Note also that Matthew and Mark are not clear as to the time frame of the appearances they describe. Luke and John however, set the first appearance in Jerusalem and are rather clear that the day is the same day as the resurrection. Hence we reasonably conclude that the first appearances took place in Jerusalem and later appearances took place in Galilee. In other words the Jerusalem appearances do not conflict with the Galilean appearances in any way. Rather they simply add details that Mark and Matthew, for reasons of their own, chose not to include. Such a conclusion is speculative to be sure. It does, however, help us to see that the accounts do not absolutely contradict each other.
  4. Among the Apostles, did Jesus appear to Peter first (Lk 24:34), all eleven at once (Mt. 28:16), or the eleven minus Thomas (Jn 20:24)? There seems to be a good case for the fact that the Lord appeared first to Peter even though we do not have a direct account of this appearance in the scriptures. The Gospel of Luke makes mention of it, And they [the disciples traveling to Emmaus] rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”(24:33-34). Paul also records it [The Lord] was raised the third day in accordance with the scriptures…he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time…Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles (1 Cor 15:3ff). So it seems a pretty good case can be made that Peter did see the risen Lord before the other apostles. This quote from Paul also helps us recall that the gospel accounts are selective in terms of which resurrection appearances they report. Thus, as we read the various accounts, we get from each of them only a part of the full picture (see John 20:30). According to Paul there were appearances to Peter, to five hundred disciples, and to James. The details of these appearances are left to our imagination. It also follows that we do not need to see the accounts of John and Matthew cited above as conflicting. They may well be describing different appearances.
  5. Did Jesus appear to them in a room (Jn 20:19) or a mountaintop (Mt 28:16)? Again, we need not place these texts at odds with one another. Most likely they are describing different appearances. Since the time frame of John is clear that the appearances in the upper room took place on Resurrection Sunday and then a week later we can presume that these appearances took place first. The mountaintop appearance was in Galilee and the time frame is not clear. It may have been days or weeks later.
  6. Did Jesus ascend on Easter Sunday (Lk 24:50-53; Mk 16:19) or forty days later (Acts 1:3,9)? At first glance the texts from Luke and Mark do seem to imply that the ascension was the same day as the resurrection. However, a closer look will show that they are rather vague as to the time frame. Mark begins the passage leading up to the ascension with the word “afterward.” How long after the previous appearance is uncertain. Luke’s passage is also vague regarding the time. However Acts (1:3,9) also written by Luke is quite specific that the time of the ascension was forty days later. Thus, Acts need not be seen to conflict with the gospel accounts; it merely supplies the details that are lacking in them. This case is made stronger when we note that Luke is generally accepted to be the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles and it seems unlikely that Luke would directly contradict himself.

So here then is a short tour of some of the apparent discrepancies and possible ways to resolve them.

In the end we simply have to accept that the Gospels do not record history in the same systematic and strictly chronological manner we moderns prefer. But they DO record history. It is for us to accept the evidence and accounts as they are given. The fact is that to develop a precise time frame and blow by blow chronological description may not be fully possible. However, careful study of the texts can help somewhat in this regard.

In tomorrow’s blog I would like to propose a somewhat chronological account that attempts to weave the many strands into one narrative. Such an attempt as we will see involves some speculation given the nature of ancient historical accounts. But it can help us to sort our the many details by trying to order them. So stay tuned for tomorrow.

56 posted on 04/09/2012 10:23:15 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

57 posted on 04/15/2012 6:35:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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