Homily for April 5, 2015: Easter Sunday: Msgr. Jim Miller

The Resurrection of the Lord

The Mass of Easter Day

April 5, 2015

Reading 1 Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

Reading 2 Col 3:1-4

Gospel Jn 20:1-9

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On a feast as great as Easter my thoughts go to one of my ultimate questions.   What happens to us when we die?   I wonder what the disciples thought when they saw their leader and friend, Jesus, arrested and beaten and made to carry his own cross to the place of execution where he is crucified and hangs on the cross until his death.   Surely they were expecting something else to come out of their following him for three years.   In Mark’s gospel, chapter 16, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome came to the tomb at sunrise on the first day of the week.   They encounter an open tomb and a young man in a white robe sitting on the right side.  “He said to them, “Do not be amazed!  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.  He has been raised; he is not here. . . But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.’”  Galilee was not only where the disciples had made their home and their livelihood; it was also the place where their apostolic mission would begin.

If Jesus passion, crucifixion, death and burial had turned their world upside down what must this experience have been like for them?  Take a little time this week to read and reflect on chapter 10 of the Acts of the Apostles.   It gives us a glimpse of Peter preaching the gospel after Jesus resurrection from the dead.  

In John’s gospel, chapter 20, “Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.”

She ran and told Simon Peter and the other disciple who ran to the tomb and tried to make sense of an empty tomb.   “For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

I truly believe that God’s plan for us includes something much greater after death.   But I do want to cooperate with God’s plan in my life today.   Sometimes I do a good job at this and sometimes I do not.   We are all called to live a life of hope and trust in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior.   Be attentive to the opportunities you have to witness your faith in Jesus to others as a person of hope.   The devil wants us to be a people of despair but God wants us to be a people of hope.   When stupid thoughts come into my mind I try to get rid of them with a positive thought and with prayer.  

In “The Joy of the Gospel” Pope Francis wrote, “Moved by Jesus’ example, we are to enter fully into the fabric of society, sharing the lives of all, listening to their concerns, helping them materially and spiritually in their needs, rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep; arm in arm with others, we are committed to building a new world, but we do so not from a sense of obligation, not as a burdensome duty, but as the result of a personal decision which brings joy and gives meaning to our lives.”

Archbishop Jackels in his Easter Message in “The Witness” writes, “the world says save your life, Jesus says lose it by living for others.  The world values ruling, Jesus says you do this by serving.  The world values being first and exalted, Jesus says you have to be last, to humble yourself.  The world says take, Jesus says give, forgive, do not condemn, do not judge.”

In Romans chapter 6 verse 5 it states, “For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.”  I look forward to seeing Jesus face to face one day and to having a reunion with my relatives and friends who have gone before me.