April 5, 2015


April 5, 2015:  Easter Sunday

  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power (1st reading)

  • 'Lamb,' 'sheep' tie bars:  Our lamb has been sacrificed (2nd reading); a Lamb redeems the sheep (sequence)

  • 'Stone' tie pin:  stone the builders rejected (psalm); stone was removed from the tomb (gospel)

  • White shirt:  color of robes, color of the day

  • Hallelujah chorus, from Messiah/ Handel: flash mob (ignore it's at Christmas)soulful

Pope Francis
Urbi et Orbi message:  Jesus Christ is risen!  Love, life, and light have triumphed!  Out of love for us, he stripped himself of divine glory, emptied himself, took on the form of a slave, and humbled himself even to death on a cross, and God exalted him and made him Lord!  Jesus shows humility is the way to life, happiness, and glory.  On Easter morning, Peter and John ran to the tomb and “bent down” to enter it. To enter the mystery and follow Jesus, we need to “bend down,” abase ourselves.  We Christians seek to live in service, not arrogant, but respectful and ready to help.  This is true strength!  Those who bear God’s power, love, and justice don't need violence; they speak and act with the power of truth, beauty, and love.
Lord, help us not succumb to pride but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace.  Lighten the sufferings of the persecuted and suffering.  Grant peace in Syria, Iraq, the Holy Land, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan the Congo. Kenya, the Ukraine, everyone subject to old and new forms of enslavement, victims of drug dealers, and this world subjected to arms dealers.  May the marginalized, imprisoned, poor, migrants discarded, sick, suffering, children, all in mourning, and all people of goodwill hear Jesus' consoling voice:  “Peace to you!”  “Fear not; I am risen and I'll always be with you.”
Easter vigil homily:  Tonight is a night of vigil; the Watchman is watching over his people, to bring them out of slavery to freedom, bringing Jesus through death and the netherworld.  This was a night of vigil, sadness, and fear for Jesus' disciples.  The men stayed in the Upper Room, but the women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body, hearts overwhelmed, asking, “How will we enter? Who will roll back the stone?"  But the stone was already rolled back and the tomb was open!  “They saw a man dressed in a white robe…”  They were the first to see the empty tomb and the first to enter…  Reflect on their experience; we're also here to enter into the Mystery God accomplished with his vigil of love.  We can't live Easter without doing so; it's much more than intellectual!

“To enter into the mystery” is to wonder, contemplate, listen in silence to God's whisper.  It demands we not be afraid of reality, locked into ourselves, fleeing from what we don't understand, or closing our eyes to problems or questions….  It's going beyond our comfort zone, laziness, and indifference, and searching for truth, beauty, and love; it's seeking deeper meaning, an answer, to questions challenging our faith, fidelity, and existence.  To enter the mystery we need humility, the lowliness to abase ourselves, to come down from the proud "I" pedestal, not to take ourselves so seriously, recognizing we're creatures with strengths and weaknesses, sinners needing forgiveness.  We need the lowliness that is powerlessness, renunciation of idols; we need to adore.

Those women teach us all this:  they kept watch, with Mary who helped them not lose faith and hope.  They didn't remain prisoners of fear and sadness but went out with their ointments and love-anointed hearts to find the tomb open, and they went in.  They kept watch, went forth, and entered into the Mystery.  May we too keep watch with God and Mary our Mother, so we may enter the Mystery which leads to life.
  • Acts 10:34a, 37-43  Peter:  We saw what Jesus did.  They put him to death.  God raised him and let us see him.  He commissioned us to preach and testify God appointed him as judge.  All who believe in him will receive forgiveness of sins.
  • Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23  "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad."  His mercy endures forever.  I shall live and declare the Lord's works.  The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
  • Col 3:1-4  If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above.  Your life is hidden with Christ.  When Christ appears, you will appear with him in glory.
  • 1 Cor 5:6b-8  Clear out the old yeast.  so you may become fresh dough.  Christ has been sacrificed.  Let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast of malice and wickedness but the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
  • Jn 20:1-9  Mary of Magdala saw the stone removed, ran to Peter and the disciple Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord, and we don’t know where they put him.”  The other disciple arrived first; he saw the cloths but didn't go in.  Peter arrived and went in; then the other one entered and believed.
  • Easter is a way of life, by Sr. Patricia McCarthy, CND.  Thanks to my pastor, Msgr. Antonio Cacciapuoti, for working this in to last night's homily!
  • Creighton:  "We are witnesses":  Peter:  "Jesus whom we witnessed preaching and healing and saw crucified, we've seen now, alive!"   Christians have been witnesses ever since, believing without seeing, but still having encountered the risen Jesus, making their proclamation fresh.  “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, that gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”  (Benedict XVI)  This encounter with the Lord is an invitation to all.  Can I hope for such an encounter?  “I invite all Christians to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; do it unfailingly every day.  Don't think this invitation isn't for you; no one is excluded” (Francis I).
    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
    (della Francesca
  • One Bread One Body:  "Risen life in Jesus":  Because we've been baptized into Christ, we've died with him; we've been united with him through likeness to his death and shall we be through a like resurrection. We've been raised up with Jesus to share his risen life.  If we find our joy just in returning to what we gave up for Lent, we will have missed Easter.  We're invited to a risen life so new, powerful, and exciting that we can't sufficiently celebrate it with our old joys and lifestyle.  Be intent on things above rather than things of earth, and celebrate the fifty-day Easter season by immersion into God's Word and the Eucharist....
  • Passionist:  Today's gospel is filled with running, going in and out of an empty tomb, and not understanding.  The disciples believed but hadn't yet understood; only by sharing in the death of the Son, or contemplating Jesus’ life can we come to understand what Christ accomplished.  Father, send me understanding of the great gift of your Son; help me remember what's brought me here and give thanks...
  • DailyScripture.net:  What was it like for the disciple who had stood at the cross and then laid him in a tomb, to return and discover the tomb was empty?  When John saw it, he must have recalled Jesus' prophecy that he'd rise and realized no tomb could contain the Lord of life. John saw and believed.  John testified as an eyewitness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus; he bore witness to what existed from all eternity.  The Lord gives us eyes of faith to know him and the power of his resurrection.
More about Easter, including origin of the name

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