For Easter Sunday II
Today in his Resurrection, our Lord shows us the living wounds in his hands and his side.
IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT the Father sent his Son to be born into the world as a man of flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary.
On a Friday some thirty years after his birth, the Son of God in flesh and blood died.
Through the eternal Spirit, Christ sacrificed himself to the Father [Hebrews 9:14].
On the following Sunday, the Father— once more BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT— sent the Son in the glory of eternal resurrection in flesh and blood.
That is what the Son tells us today in his Resurrection Gospel.
“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And … he breathed on them and said …
“Receive the Holy Spirit.”
As the Father sent Christ in FLESH-AND-BLOOD-RESURRECTION by the power of the Holy Spirit, so Christ sends us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The dead human flesh of Friday and Saturday begins on this third day to have eternal life and glory by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the same way, we sinners are raised to holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christ says it today in his Resurrection Gospel:
AS THE FATHER HAS SENT ME
[by the power of the Holy Spirit],
SO I SEND YOU
[by the power of the Holy Spirit].
RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT!
WHOSE SINS YOU FORGIVE ARE FORGIVEN THEM
[by the power of the Holy Spirit].
Sent by the Father to us in his Resurrection, Christ’s flesh, blood and breath bear the Holy Spirit.
In the Resurrection of Christ, true God and true Headman of the human race, the Father has already begun to send our humanity out of death into resurrection glory.
In the flesh and blood Resurrection of Christ, God who is Eternal Spirit is now eternally one with the flesh and blood of our own humanity, bringing sinners into birth as sons and daughters of God.
All of us, like the Risen Christ himself, are flesh and blood and spirit.
In baptism Christ shares with us the Holy Spirit of his Father.
We have dignity in the eyes of God our Father— dignity as sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Christ.
The Father sent Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christ sends the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Church— by the power of the Holy Spirit— sends men and women through the sacraments:
out of sin into holiness and communion;
out of death into resurrection;
out of eternal orphanage into the adopting arms of the eternal Father of heaven—
all of this by the power of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments.
Here, in the Blessed Work of the Eucharist, the Church sets down on the altar the bread and wine of this world.
The Father then sends the Spirit, so that we take up from the altar truly the flesh and blood of Christ, Risen Lord and God.
In the Eucharist, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Father still sends his Son.
In the Eucharist, Jesus in his Resurrection stands in our midst and says to us, “Peace be with you.”
Saying this, he gives us his flesh and blood.
Eating and drinking these, we receive the Father’s commission.
We receive the Father’s Spirit— the Spirit who is holiness, forgiveness of sins, communion itself.
The Spirit is the pledge-mark of the Father’s life within us.
The Spirit is our adoption agent by whose power we bear the name of Christ as sons and daughters of God the Father.
However, we have not only the name of Christ, but also his Body and Blood.
We are to live as Christ.
We are to live and serve as his Body and Blood in the world.
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The Preface for this Mass (the “Easter Perspective” on the Liturgy of the Eucharist)
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. We praise you with greater joy than ever on this Easter day, when Christ became our paschal sacrifice. He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world. By dying he destroyed our death; by rising he restored our life. And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven we proclaim your glory and join in their unending hymn of praise: Holy, holy, holy....