JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!
HAPPY EASTER!!! Here is my homily for EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2017. The readings for today can be found at: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/041617.cfm (Gospel is the second one from Matthew). Thanks as always for reading, for sharing this blog on Reddit, Twitter and Facebook - and for you feedback and comments. So grateful for your interest! God's blessings to you and your family for a Joyous Easter!!! Fr Jim
As I’m getting older I’ve noticed some changes... less hair, which happens to be more grey... recently having to get glasses... and even more surprising to me - I’m becoming a bit more schmaltzy... What I mean by that, is that I kind of find myself getting moved to tears a bit more often than I ever used to. Like the other night:
(you can see it here:
In a way that is even more profound
In a way that is even more historic
In a way that is meant to be a remedy to every human being who is plagued by signs, by experiences of death - Easter comes and is meant to change our vision forever.
Just look at what happens in this Gospel account we just heard from Matthew about Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. They who had witnessed Jesus’ brutal, horrific, grotesque passion... They who had seen his dead body taken down from the cross... They who had watched as the body of Jesus is laid in a tomb and sealed... They go to the tomb to mourn, to grieve, to try to make sense of the senseless - and any or rather all of us who’ve experienced mourning, grieving know how maddening that can be. They go with tear-filled visions to a grave - not wanting the nightmare they experienced to be real, but needing to see it for themselves, to confirm its awful reality, its finality in their lives.
And, in an instant, their vision is changed. There’s a great earthquake... An angel rolls back the stone... The guards run away in fear... The angel tells them to not be afraid but to look and see the place where he lay... but where he lays no more as the tomb is empty. They see Jesus, risen from the dead. Truly alive, having conquered death - telling them "do not be afraid."
My brothers and sisters - these women’s testimonies, as well as the testimonies of the apostles who became even more credible witnesses by offering their very lives. The apostles accepted equally brutal, terrifying, horrific deaths as martyrs. Deaths which they almost eagerly embraced rather than deny this amazing event of Jesus rising from the dead and His presence with and among them for 40 days afterward. These witnessesare meant to change our vision as well.
That as we suffer betrayals,
as we endure our own passions,
as we suffer under the weight of our own crosses...
Jesus, the risen one’s words to those first witnesses, He now speaks to us Do Not Be Afraid:
All the sufferings we endure,
all the losses we’ve experienced are not the end of the story.
Death does not have the final word.
May you and I be witnesses of these things and help to bring that vision to a world that desperately needs and longs to see the Risen Christ alive in our midsts. Happy Easter!