April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord

Freed from the bonds of death.  There is an interesting relationship between Jesus’ resurrection and his raising of Lazarus from the Gospel two weeks ago.  When Jesus called Lazarus to come out from the tomb, he came wrapped in burial clothes, including the cloth which covered his head.  After he emerged, Jesus commanded that he be untied and let go.  This untying is a release from the bonds of death. 

In Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples arrived at the tomb to find the burial clothes left behind.  This is to say that Jesus had not only been raised, but he had been freed from the bonds of death.   In Romans 6, St. Paul reminds us that we were buried with Christ through baptism so that we might be brought to newness of life in Him.  Just as death has no power of Christ, death also has no power over those who live in Him. 

There is an ancient homily which is often read on the morning of Holy Saturday in which Christ, as noted in the Apostles Creed, descended into hell.  He then frees Adam, Eve and all those who had died, saying:

“I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.”


We, who have been baptized in Him are called to live our lives freed from the bonds of death, already having the first installment of the resurrection through our Confirmation, let us begin this Easter Season, rejoicing for the newness of life granted to us all and to proclaim to all the world that Christ has risen from the dead!  Alleluia! Alleluia!!


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