Sunday, April 4, 2010

This Day of Days

I attended Mass again this morning as is my habit. Fr. Jonathan Raia presided and this was His first Easter Mass since his ordination. (Although he helped con-celebrate the Easter Vigil and did a beautiful job singing the Exultet. He was especially anointed in the giving of His homily this morning. My post today is a summary of His words to the best of my ability. May they bless you when you read them as they blessed me in their hearing.

THIS is the greatest day of the year. THIS day we participate in the Resurrection. It is not a matter of looking back and remembering what Jesus did - that He said and did good things and went about being nice. We don't just remember in the sense that we think nice thoughts about something and someone who lived a long time ago. We remember in the sense that what Jesus said and did is present - truly present - to us now, on this day, in 2010. It is not something we do but what God does in us on this Day of All Days..

We do not just remember Jesus like we remember our family members or friends who have died. We remember them in a spiritual way. But Jesus - JESUS is here with us - Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity and He feeds us with Himself at the table of the Lord. This is what we believe as Catholics. This is our faith.

In the Gospel reading for today, Mary has seen the empty tomb and believed. She returned to where the apostles were hiding and told them. Peter and John came running to the tomb in disbelief. But when they saw the burial clothes, they believed - before even seeing Jesus.

When Jesus finally appears to the apostles, they recognize Him. But He is somehow different. It is Jesus, but His resurrected Body is not the same. He can walk through walls, BUT - He eats and drinks with them.

Jesus has overcome DEATH. When we die, we see a body in a casket and we know it isn't right. We were not meant for death. But Jesus - JESUS changed all that. Jesus overcame death. He used the wood of the cross as a sort of battering ram to open the gates of hell where those who looked forward to the Messiah were waiting. When the cross broke through those gates, the gates of heaven opened and the dead rose from the grave, for death no longer had power over them.

Death no longer has POWER over US. Through our Baptism into His death, we rise with Him to new Life. Jesus, in His apparent failure - dying on the cross - is victorious, for His obedience to the Father undid the disobedience of our first parents who sinned. Jesus' is our Victory. He is the firstborn from the dead and we shall rise with Him on the Last Day.

But let us live THIS DAY in a way that looks forward to the Day of our Resurrection. Happy Easter! Amen? (many respond) "Amen." That's not very convincing . . . Amen? (all respond) AMEN!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed Fr. Jonathan's mass as well. He was so warm and inviting. I pray that the people who come to mass once a year was moved by him. I know I was.