Easter Reflections 2016

Download Reflections for Easter 2016

The Resurrection of our Lord

But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you." (Mark 16:6-7)

The Annunciation

"For with God, no word will be impossible." (Luke 1:37, author's translation).

Tuesday of Easter

Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. (Acts 13:29-31)

Wednesday of Easter Week

You shall not covet your neighbor's house. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not scheme to get our neighbor's inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it. (The Small Catechism, The Ninth Commandment)

Thursday of Easter Week

"Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (Daniel 3:25)

Friday of Easter Week

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:3-4)

Saturday of Easter

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2 from the Introit for Easter 2)

The Second Sunday of Easter

Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

Monday of the Second Week of Easter

And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" So I answered, "O Lord GOD, You know." Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. (Ezekiel 37:3-5)

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. (1 John 5:4)

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not entice or force away our neighbor's wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty. (The Small Catechism, Tenth Commandment)

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. (Exodus 25:22)

Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. (Exodus 31:1-2)

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made (Psalm 33:5-6 from the Introit for Easter 3)

The Third Sunday of Easter

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

Monday of the Third Week of Easter

I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. (Ezekiel 34:14)

Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25)

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

What does God say about all of these commandments? He says, "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments" (Exodus 20:5-6). What does this mean? God threatens to punish all who break these commandments. Therefore, we should fear His wrath and not do anything against them. But He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. Therefore, we should also love and trust in Him and gladly do what He commands. (The Small Catechism, Close of the Commandments.)

Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

And they set onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold; they were engraved, as signets are engraved, with the names of the sons of Israel. He put them on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel, as the LORD had commanded Moses. (Exodus 39:6-7)

Friday of the Third Week of Easter

Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. (Luke 8:33)

Saturday of the Third Week of Easter

Say to God, "How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies shall submit themselves to You. (Psalm 66:3)

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy (John 16:20).

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

... but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation (1 Peter 2:21).

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

What is Baptism? Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God's command and combined with God's word. (Small Catechism, Baptism, Part 1)

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end (Lamentations 3:22)

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13)

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things!

The Fifth Sunday of Easter

And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged (John 16:8-11).

St. Mark, Evangelist

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:6-7).

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of change (James 1:17).

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

What benefits does Baptism give? It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare. Which are these words and promises of God? Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16) (Small Catechism, Baptism, Part 2).

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation" (Isaiah 12:2).

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

"But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. (Leviticus 26:14-16).

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it out to the end of the earth; say, "The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!" (Isaiah 40:20 from the Introit for Easter 6)

St. Philip and St. James, Apostles

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him" (John 14:6-7).

Monday of the Sixth Week after Easter

And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live (Numbers 21:8-9).

Tuesday of the Sixth Week after Easter

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:23-24)

Wednesday of the Sixth Week after Easter

How can water do such great things? Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God's word the water is plain water and no Baptism. But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says in Titus, chapter three: "He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying." (Titus 3:5-8) (The Small Catechism, Baptism, Part 3)

The Ascension of Our Lord

And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:15-16).

Friday of the Sixth Week after Easter

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God (Luke 24:50-53).

Saturday of the Sixth Week after Easter

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 from the Introit for Easter 7)

The Seventh Sunday of Easter

"When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father--the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father--that one will testify about me. And you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27)

Monday of the Seventh Week after Easter

Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you will be clean; from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols, I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; then I will take away the stony heart from your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my judgements; you will keep my ordinances, and do them. You will dwell in the land that I gave your fathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

Tuesday of the Seventh Week after Easter

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. (James 1:22-23)

Wednesday of the Seventh Week after Easter

What does such baptizing with water indicate? It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Thursday of the Seventh Week after Easter

And he began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.' But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.' And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When they heard this, they said, "Surely not!" But he looked directly at them and said, "What then is this that is written: "'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone'? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." (Luke 20:9-18)

Friday of the Seventh Week after Easter

But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him." (Luke 20:37-38)

The Eve of Pentecost

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. (John 14:18-20)