Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 2:43 PM
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Homily: Easter Sunday 2021

Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord,  Homily by Msgr. Joseph K. Ntuwa                                                                                   

Acts 10:34,37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; Mark 16:1-8

Happy Easter everyone.  Alleluia! Alleluia! 

Dear friends, it brings me great joy that unlike last year, this time we are able to gather as a faith community to rejoice and give thanks to God for the greatest gift we could ever imagine --- the gift of redemption, the gift of new life won for us through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.  Our God refused to simply sit on the sidelines and watch us continue to stray, watch us wander down a path that was leading us away from him.  Rather, our loving God chose to fully immerse himself in our world, chose to become like us so we could become more like him.  With joyful hearts full of praise, we say with the Psalmist; “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 117:24)

We are used to the terms B.C (Before Christ) and A.D (Anno Domini-in the year of our Lord) to divide human history in two, but perhaps a more significant division occurred with the event we celebrate today. When raising Jesus Christ from the dead, God ushered in a new era, Resurrection time. Resurrection time means sharing in the hope of eternal life with the Lord. It means that God has chosen to bring salvation to this imperfect world. It means that we are called to bring new life, resurrected life to our world. In the beginning, God created the world, and, in the Resurrection, God saved the world. Because we are made in the image of God, we are challenged to be creative and salvific in the way we act; “Seek what is above”. St Paul commands us, for we ‘were raised in Christ” (Colossians 3:1). We look to the resurrected Christ who joins the Father in heaven but is also with us always. When we love our neighbor, when we help our brothers and sisters, we are not just doing the right thing, we are not just doing what Jesus asked us to do, we are also participating in the redemptive work of our Lord. We are living in Resurrected time.

In the Gospel today, we get to hear of three different reactions to the empty tomb. Mary of Magdala, who was first on the scene, is upset and confused. She is the first to see the rolled-away stone and the empty tomb. It is dark, she is alone, and she immediately runs for help. Peter, the first to enter the tomb, is confused as well. He takes the time to see the burial cloths rolled up separately, not thrown or unrolled on the floor as they would be if the body had been dragged away. But he did not understand. Neither did John, ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’, but he saw, and he believed. Perhaps it was the intensity of his love that led to his immediate belief. His heart moved faster than his head. John did not understand the Resurrection yet, but he so wanted the crucifixion of the one he loved not to be final the end.

The initial encounter of the empty tomb exposes a paradox. It is not the presence of Jesus that inspired belief in John, but his absence. Belief came without seeing, hearing, or touching. It came without proof. It came alongside doubt and confusion. But it came, nonetheless. Different disciples took different routes to belief. We heard this today, and we will continue to hear it over the next two Sundays. We take different routes ourselves. In his presence or in his absence, belief can rise in us. Christ’s resurrection is our resurrection, for he has opened for us the gates of eternal life. It is on this truth that we stake our whole loves. And so, filled with glory of Christ’s triumph, we cannot help to cry out: Alleluia!

Finally, we are also called upon to be witnesses. This Good News cannot be contained. It must be proclaimed to the world. The Sequence today beautifully summarizes what our feelings/mood should be: Share the Good News, sing joyfully: His death is victory Christ the Lamb has saved the sheep! 

As we renew our baptismal promises again in today’s liturgy, we have the opportunity to re-commit ourselves afresh to following in the footsteps of the Risen Lord – personally, as a community of faith, and as God’s family. Let us not let Easter be just a one-day spiritual trip for us. May we make it the renewal of our journey with Christ.  Christ is Risen- Alleluia! He is our Light, our freedom, and our hope. Alleluia

 

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