Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

Easter Sunday, Second Sunday of Easter and Third Sunday of Easter 9, 16 and 23 April 2023

The Resurrection of the Lord (John 20:1-9)

Today we read John’s account of the discovery of the empty tomb.

Christian faith proclaims: ‘Christ has died! Christ has risen! Christ will come again!’ Without the resurrection, the real rising of Jesus to new life in a transformed and glorified body, there would be no good news to proclaim. The God of love is more powerful than death and sin, and God has shown this in raising Jesus, who became a victim of sin, to the life of the resurrection. The world is in dire need of news that is true, amid so many messages which are false, undermining, and deceptive. True hope lies in the God who raised Jesus from the dead.

Do I appreciate the fundamental significance of the resurrection of Jesus?

Do I have the vision to see the wonders God works in each human life?

We pray for those baptised and those received into the Catholic Church this Easter.

We pray for Christians for whom the cross is a daily and painful reality, that they will know that the risen Christ is at their side.

Second Sunday of Easter (John 20:19-31)

The Gospel of John provides an account of the appearance of Jesus to the eleven in the upper room and a second account one week later. Jesus brings the gift of peace and the gift of the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus., who has died for sinners, ensures the gift of forgiveness for all those who will seek it, the forgiveness available to us through the Sacrament of reconciliation.

The reluctance of Thomas provokes Jesus’ praise for those who believe without seeing. But Thomas should also be remembered as the one who gives the fullest declaration of faith in Christ found anywhere in the gospels: ‘My Lord and my God!’.

Do I treasure the gospel as showing the way to faith and life?

How does the experience of Thomas provide encouragement for believers?

We pray for a deeper appreciation of the Sacrament of reconciliation.

We pray for all those plagued by hesitation and doubt.

Third Sunday of Easter (Luke 24:13-35)

The story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is perhaps the most endearing of the Easter appearances. The Risen Jesus brings new hope to two men who have lost all hope. He feeds their minds and their hearts by explaining the Scriptures to them. His true identity is revealed in the bread he breaks for them. Their experience is offered to us too at every Eucharist, as we receive the Word and the Sacrament and are strengthened in holiness.

Do our hearts burn within us as we are nourished by the Scriptures?

What can we do to ensure this is so?

We pray for a deeper appreciation of the gift of the Eucharist.

May the hope brought by the Risen Christ truly transform us.                            Fr Adrian Graffy