The Cyber-version of my homily for Easter Sunday
Readings for Easter Sunday Mass: I: Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Ps: 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23; II: Col. 3:1-4; Gospel: John 20:1-9
“They did not yet understand the Scriptures that He had to rise from the dead…”
The closing words of John’s Gospel account of the resurrection told how the disciples who came that Easter morning did not yet get that Jesus was indeed risen from the dead. Would those words apply to us today? Over 2000 years later..do we still not get it?
For we share the same peril that the Jews, Romans and even the disciples faced in those intense days in Jerusalem. But while facing the same perils we also have the same hope and promise of knowing Jesus is indeed risen from the dead.
Understanding and reason had failed.
The Jewish hierarchy could not let go their pride and fear that held them enslaved to their education, their status and their sense of control. They could only see Jesus as the poor son of a carpenter, born of very unclear circumstances. This self-centered vision crippled their ability to see Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, their Messiah.
The Romans, slaves to their assumptions of power, pride and might could not find the strength of heart to reach out to the true King of Kings and Savior of the world.
The disciples, who had followed Jesus in growing faith and unsure understanding had found their hopes dashed, overcome by the cruelty this world would bring.
So, on that first Easter morning they came, Mary Magdalene, in mourning came to attend the body of Jesus more properly for burial. Thinking to come to the tomb sealed by her understanding, she came instead to enter into God’s Resurrection Heart.
Following the words of her Lord she went to Peter and John telling them, not what she understood, but what she had experienced in God. Peter and John ran to the tomb. Peter with his heart torn by his threefold denial, gasping for breath as he sought his Lord. John, the Beloved could not run fast enough..dare he hope that his beloved Jesus could be alive? Coming to the tomb, John looks in, Peter catching up brushes aside and enters, John follows. As they enter the tomb where understanding and reason fail us..they entered into the God’s resurrection heart.
Today, we come. Perhaps like Mary Magdalene we come seeking closure on seeming losses and failure. Maybe we are like Peter, struggling with the a soul burdened with known denial and fear of following in His steps. Or perhaps like John with hearts broken yet racing with a hope that refuses to die..not understanding but knowing the call of His love.
200o years later we are now the people of the Easter story. Do we hide in our fears, pride, sense of control and status? We hear of this Jesus, this resurrection but our understanding is bound, locked in the our self. Or are we going to follow in the steps of the courageous women and men who dared to come, with all their human frailties and dare enter into the heart of the resurrection, the very sacred heart of God’s love.
The hope, the promise has not changed. We can know as did Mary, as did John and Peter the love of Christ calling us beyond our selves into His holy, healing love that will raise us up to believe and then to understand…..He is risen, Alleluia.