Sundays:  Pastor's Class 9:00 AM (Eucharistic Prayers & Post Comm. Collects)
               Divine Liturgy 10:30 AM

Wednesdays: Divine Liturgy 7:00 PM



April 6, 2024 Pastor: Rev. Peter Mills

EASTER DAY/B (03/31/2024): Ps. 16; Isa. 25:6-9; 1 Cor. 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8

The Crucified One

And [the women] said to each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the door of the tomb for us?” And looking up, they beheld that the stone had already been rolled away—for it was very large.

And going into the tomb, they saw a young man [an angel] sitting on the right, dressed in a white robe, and they were astonished. But he said to them, “Do not be astounded. You seek Jesus the Nazarene, the Crucified One …” (vv. 3-6a).

Today’s worship is a bit different from other Sundays. The Resurrection of our Lord is not a stand-alone event; rather Easter culminates the Church’s joy for knowing her long ages hidden God (Col. 1:26; cf. Jn. 17:3).

Seasonal rejoicing is oriented on the message from the angel in the tomb, that God’s glory has been manifested in Jesus our crucified Lord and God (Jn. 20:28). The point here is that the Resurrection on the third day does not lie independent of, or outside the bound, or beyond the cross; rather it is in the Resurrection that Jesus comes to us as crucified Lord and God.

Like the women who lacked strength to move the death’s stone, we “seek the Crucified One”. Some might pause at the thought of God crucified. Certainly, the chief priests and scribes thought Jesus a ludicrous King, mocking “He saved others; he cannot save himself” (Mk. 15:31). Today we seek God in the light of his Resurrection; the God whose “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9b).

St. Paul did not engage the marriage bed; yet as an apostolic pastor he discerned in marriage a “profound mystery referring to Christ and the Church” (Eph. 5:32) and so commending marriage to men and women for Christian enlightenment.

A man is physically and psychologically fit to provide nurture and protection of his woman with affection; he sacrifices his own baser wants and desires for her; the woman typically weaker, discerns his affection and sacrificially surrenders to his headship.

This model is perhaps more honored in the breach; yet men and women have through the marriage bed, their means of private forgiveness by the divine command, “Be fruitful and multiply …” (Gen. 1:28a; 9:1b). Between man and woman sacrificial activity plays out that comprehends love perfected through the other’s willing weakness.

Jesus, our Crucified come to us in the Resurrection has revealed God’s perfect love in weakness for his church’s weakness apart from him. Daily “with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5c), by which we grow from faith to faith, taking on the image of God and the likeness of Christ. This is the trajectory of the cross In the Resurrection. Today we exclaim, “He is risen, he is risen indeed!” Observe a double entendre; our exuberance at once and the same time proclaims both Jesus’ risen exaltation on the cross as well as his defeat of death in rising to Life.

Physical love is the natural expression between men and women, so too with men and their Creator. Psalm 16 extols the physicality of the Church’s love for her crucified Lord. We presume a paraphrase:

“In word and Sacrament, we have refuge for our preservation. As both beloved and lovers Jesus is Lord and no other; apart from his body and shed blood we desire no other good thing. He blesses to acknowledge brothers and sisters as his holy ones in whom we take delight.

“Our attachment to the Lord is singular against all blandishments from the world that holds no charm for us. The Lord having sacrificed his all for me I make him my portion and my cup who holds me in his unbreakable promise and embrace; in this he is my possession for a beautiful inheritance in a pleasant place.

“When I seek him in trouble and concern, he gives good counsel even in sleep; his word is ever before me, and he is present at my right hand. His presence makes my whole being rejoice for I know that I dwell in the security of him who will not abandon my soul; he makes known his Light and Life’s path. Amen.”

The Psalm speaks the language of mutual love and adoration that informs bodily worship, eucharistic self-offering by, from, and in his crucified flesh, come to us in the power of the Resurrection. In his Flesh we access his Father and ours, the Ancient of Days for reigning in heaven and earth (Dan. 7).

In these Resurrection days we have our foretaste of the Father’s “dominion” that bespeaks his Son’s end-time wedding meal (cf. Ex. 24:9-11). “Take eat, this is my body”; and because Life is in the blood (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11) so our Lover unites and enlivens our bodies with his, to make us true men and women oriented in divinity’s sacrificial weakness poured out, “Take drink, this Cup is the NT in my blood.”

Christ reigns in the world with his Baptized in faith. In this manner God loved the world (Jn. 3:16). For our witness to God’s love we have been given a new diet, “our Lord’s bread-Flesh and wine-Blood”, the Bread of angels (Ps. 78:25) for a latent resurrection made patent as Christ’s body and temple of God. Amen and Alleluia!