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Put Away the Old

“Clear out the old yeast,

so that you may become a fresh batch

of dough inasmuch as you are unleavened. . .

Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast,

the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the

unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

From Today’s Second Reading: I Corinthians 5:6b-8

Our hearts are filled with joy as we contemplate the glory of Easter. John’s Gospel recounts Mary of Magdala rushing forth early in the morning only to find the stone rolled away. When she rushes back to the apostles, she tells Simon Peter and the beloved disciple in John 20:3: “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” It’s interesting to note that her first reaction was not that he was risen but that his body had been stolen. How often we, like Mary of Magdala, anticipate the worst of news instead of expecting the best of news. Eventually they would all understand that he had risen from the dead; the empty tomb becomes a sign of hope and new life.

Today’s second reading tells us to put away old ways of thinking – negative ones – to put on the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. The truth that Jesus is risen from the dead has many ramifications for us. Suffering is not in vain but can have a tremendous redemptive value. We too hope, one day, to enter the eternal dwelling place prepared for us from the foundation of the world. May we adopt a positive attitude, an Easter attitude, of hope, that, like yeast, will permeate our whole being as we let go of negative thoughts of doom and fear. St. Ambrose wrote: “True Sun, break out on earth and shine in radiance with your light divine; by dazzling of your Spirit’s might, oh, give our jaded senses light.” May we let go of doubt and jaded thoughts and let faith and joy be our leaven this Easter.

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