Rekindling ‘Amazement’ at the Resurrection

Easter Saints Part II—In the later years of his papacy, John Paul II called for a rekindling of ‘Eucharistic amazement.’ This Easter season is an opportunity for us to also rekindle our amazement at the resurrection, following the example of St. Peter.

When told that the women had found Jesus’ tomb empty, Peter responded in a way that most of us probably would have: he immediately ran off to the tomb to confirm their story. Here is how his reaction is described in Luke 24:12: Peter, however, went off to the tomb, running. He bent down and looked in and saw the linen cloths but nothing else; he then went back home, amazed at what had happened.

How can we rekindle in our hearts ‘amazement’ at the resurrection?

It’s worth pointing out that amazement at the Eucharist and amazement at the resurrection are quite closely related. For it goes without saying that without the resurrection we could not receive the gift of the Eucharist. But the connection is even closer: the original example of Eucharistic amazement cited by John Paul II is the breaking of the bread between Jesus and the disciples on the road to Emmaus. This was one of the first appearances of Christ after his resurrection.

This offers us another way of thinking about the Eucharist—as a way of experiencing the Resurrected Christ.

Tomorrow: What St. Paul’s conversion teaches us about the resurrection.  

Stephen Beale


Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. He is a former news editor at and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on and A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. Follow him on Twitter at

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  • I think this “other” way of reflecting on the Eucharist as an experience of the Resurrected Christ is especially interesting because it emphasizes how Sunday is like a “little Easter.”  It probably would be fair to say that any celebration (I’m thinking Daily Mass) of the Eucharist should be thought of in this way.  In a similar way, the proclamation of the Word of God is akin to the Incarnation of the Word which we celebrate at Christmas.  It might also be an important point of intersection for discussion with Catholics who do not attend Mass regularly but do make an effort to come to Mass at Christmas and Easter.