Saturday, April 11, 2020

Homily for Easter Sunday 2020

Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Ps 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Col 3:1-4
Jn 20:1-9

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

These joyful words from the responsorial psalm have been circling the globe and stirring the universe for hours. First in Australia, then Taiwan and the Churches of Mainland China.  After passing through Asia and Russia they were proclaimed in Poland, Slovenia and England while the East Coast of the United States was barely waking up. 

  上主        安排      一天, 
(Zhe shi  shang zhu   suo  an pan  de yi tian,  
wo men yao  huan yin  gu wu.)

By the end of this day, the joyful command from the psalms will have been repeated in: Mandarin, Fujianese, Swahili, Tagalog, Slovenian, Croatian, Portuguese, Latin, English, and every other tongue in the known world, as the news of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is proclaimed yet again. 

"To je dan, ki ga je Gospod, naredil, 
veselimo se ga in se radujmo."

The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles summarizes Jesus’ life, beginning with His baptism and ending with His death on the cross.  We hear the commission to the apostles to preach the message of salvation.  It is the same commission we receive: Preach the message of salvation through Jesus!  That message is the reason we are to rejoice and be glad.  Jesus is the one set apart. Those who believe in him have  forgiveness of sins through His name. 

"Este é o dia que o Senhor fez, 
vamos nos alegrar e ser felizes"

As St. Paul so memorably wrote to the Romans:  “God showed his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”  While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  Jesus, fully Divine and fully human, Son of God and Son of Mary, like us in all things but sin, died for our sins, because of our sins, and to save us from those sins.  We are sinners.  But, we are sinners passionately loved by God.  We are redeemed by Jesus’ passion and death in a redemption made manifest in His resurrection from the dead.  What more can we say than?

"Oto jest dzień, który dał nam Pan. 
Weselmy się w nim i radujmy."

In the proclamation of John’s Gospel we heard of the disciple’s astonishment, confusion, sorrow, and fear upon discovering that the tomb in which Jesus had been placed was empty. The burial cloths were rolled up and lying off to the side.  The last line of this Gospel reading is instructive:  “Remember, as yet they did not understand the Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”  They did not yet understand.  Despite the years that they had followed Him the disciples did not really understand who this Jesus was.  But that was going to change at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended.

"Haec dies quam fecit Dominus;
exsultemus et laetemur in ea"

The apostle’s confusion and lack of understanding of Jesus mirrors our situation.  Despite Jesus’ action in our lives, we don’t always understand.  Unlike the apostles who lived the events told here in real time we have scripture and the tradition of the Church to instruct us and help us understand.  Still, we don’t always get it.  We sometimes fail to understand how great a gift Jesus is to us. We sometimes fail to appreciate the gift he gave us.  Thus, it is today, and every day, we are called to pray, to meditate on scripture and to receive the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ so that unlike the apostles, we will understand, we will see, and, through understanding and seeing,  we will believe. 

As the paschal candle was lit in those places where Mass was possible the  priest's words, said while inscribing the paschal candle, explain everything. 

“Christ yesterday and today
the beginning and the end. 
Alpha and Omega; 
all time belongs to him, 
and all the ages; 
to him be glory and power, 
through every age for ever.” 

“This is the day the Lord has made, 
let us rejoice and be glad.” 


Photos of flowers, mostly, and nature.  No commentary necessary.  Have a Blessed Easter. 

 +Fr Jack, SJ, MD

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