Homily – April 12, 2020 (Easter Sunday)

Easter Sunday - Solemnity of the Lord's Resurrection
Year A

What if our first reading of the Mass today were to begin a little differently … You know what has happened all over the world, beginning in China with the report of a virus, how that virus began to spread from country to country. It made people deathly sick, killing a multitude. It closed businesses, crippled economies, triggered bedlam among healthcare professionals, instilled fear and panic sending people into quarantine and isolation, worried that they could be next among the dead. And in this, there is the waiting for God to do something to end it… Sadly, we do not have to imagine this scenario because it is happening.

Our situation is not unlike that of the Apostles and the early followers of Christ. Where were they on that first Easter morning? You guessed it – locked in the upper room, in fear of their lives – self-quarantined. They didn’t know what was next or what was happening. Maybe they had some inclining of a possible resurrection – Jesus predicted His death and resurrection at least 3 times in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. So, what was next for them? Perhaps, in the midst of that fear there was in their hearts a glimmer of hope that He would come to them, that He would release them from this fear; that He would break through…

Friends, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is just that – it is God breaking through to us … breaking through our isolation, breaking through our suffering, sadness, and fear … Most assuredly He has done this in our time, here and now, even in the midst of the suffering we are experiencing. God certainly has broken through … but can we see Him? Have we been able to recognize Him in our midst? St. John tells us that they went to the tomb, He was not there … they were still confused, they could not understand … what is happening? But yet, St. Peter says something quite interesting … this speech comes after the Apostles were given the Holy Spirit – after Pentecost … He says that Jesus went about doing good for the people – God was with Him … That He was raised and that He be seen – made visible … Do we not see this in the those working on the front lines of a battle with an invisible enemy … do we not see Him in those who reach out to the isolated with a phone call or a hot meal … do we not see Him in the good that people do for their neighbor, do we not see how He has brought many back to faith in Him … God is indeed visible … God has indeed broken through – His light, the light of His grace never dims … but sometimes it is hard to see it because of our own darkness, fear, suffering and so on … What remains is for us to get on that train … to be a part of it … to soak in His light – so that He may be seen in us, that He, through our words and actions may break through the someone else’s personal darkness … therefore, as St. Paul writes, from this day forward we must seek what is above where Christ is seated … that we may see Him, see His glory and reflect that glory… that love that breaks through the darkness …

Friends … this Jesus, who was anointed by God and went about doing good has risen from the dead… may we too rise with Him and go about our lives from this day forward doing good – just as He did.

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