A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF EASTER – CYCLE “B” – APRIL 1ST, 2018 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you on this special day!
Wow! Easter is here! Alleluia! And there are so many beautiful, inspiring, symbols of Easter and the Resurrection! Our Catholic tradition is full of them: the egg, the lily, the Easter candle, the new Holy Water, and the rabbit! Today, I’d like to add a new symbol of Easter. And I do this after much prayer, and discernment, and driving around Indianapolis the last couple of weeks, and that is the pothole! Can you believe all the potholes? Even on our driveway here at church, they were patching new potholes that had just developed on Good Friday afternoon! Now, it is not only that there are potholes in downtown Indianapolis that are as big as the empty tomb, but it also that there are so many of them this year, that they are saying there are three to four hundred reported cases of damage to vehicles per week! It’s like, in one year, the winter of 2017-2018, all our roads decided at the same time to fall apart. It’s crazy out there. I will do anything that I can, to avoid driving south of 146th Street, just to avoid potholes. It’s true.
So, what in the world, do potholes have to do with Easter? Why would anybody consider a pothole a symbol of Easter? Well, potholes open up most of the time in the Spring, about the same time as Easter. The roads thaw out, and the asphalt breaks apart, and voila! There’s a new pothole. And for every new pothole that appears, somebody has to fix it. Or else there’s a hole in the road that is only going to get worse, and get bigger. Eventually, even the City of Indianapolis has to do something about their broken up roads. Or else nobody is going to be able to drive anywhere!
You know, as we go through this life, each one of us, kinda has our own potholes. Our nice, smooth surface wears down, and different parts of our lives break up. This life is not easy. And it is even more challenging when you’re trying to follow Jesus Christ! Jesus didn’t get along with this world, very well. They hung Him on that Cross for a reason. Jesus scared the daylights out of a lot of people, with His radical faith and love. So I guess that none of us should be surprised that this world is also going to take a toll on all of us. Our jobs, our marriages, our kids, our technology, our security, our finances – all of these can dig all sorts of holes in our souls and in our lives. You don’t have to hang around this world very long, and you realize, that your soul, your spirit, can look and feel like a lot of the roads in Indianapolis, full of potholes. It can make for a pretty bumpy ride and some bone-jarring encounters!
This Jesus, Who’s Resurrection we celebrate today, is the Ultimate Fixer of potholes of the soul! No matter where we’ve been in the past year, no matter many potholes have developed in our journey, no matter how many ruptured tires and bent-wheels we have caused, today Jesus comes back from the dead, to bring us a better way of living our lives and making this journey! Jesus fills in our potholes with His love and grace! He smooths out things for us, and re-surfaces the broken parts of our lives.
Make no mistake about it, my brothers and sisters, we need this fixing up and we need the repairs that Jesus wants to help us make, this Easter! We need this Savior! We need Him to fill us up and make us whole. We need Him to keep us safe on the journey of life. And we need His example and teaching to get us safely through this life.
Jesus’ Resurrection changes everything for Peter, and John, and Mary Magdalen. And it changes everything for all of us! That tomb was as empty as one of those large, potholes on Meridian Street! That was good news then, and it is even better news now!
Today, we are made to be the witnesses to the Risen Christ! If the Gospel message had ended with the cross, you and I would not be here today. All the stories about Jesus’ good works, all the miracles, and all the teachings of Jesus, would be collecting dust on some shelf somewhere. He might be acknowledged as a good prophet or a compassionate teacher, but He would not be seen as the glorified and risen Son of the Living God! We know this. We know that Jesus can fix the potholes of our lives!
Then each day, we have a decision to make as followers of the Risen One: Each day, we must decide whether we will help to roll that stone away from the empty tomb, or are we using all our strength and all of our effort to keep that stone in place? Do we let Jesus fill in the “holes” in our life, or are we trying to let the world do that? We are witnesses of the Resurrection. Even two-thousand years later, God is still re-surfacing all kinds of people. We cannot be the same!
Then let us live differently today. May Jesus Christ live and reign in our hearts and in our lives! May He fix all our messes!
From all of us here at St. Maria Goretti, Fr. Sean, Deacon Steve, myself, our seminarians and candidates for the permanent diaconate, our Parish staff and our school staff, we wish you a blessed and holy Easter!
+ God bless all of us during this joy-filled time, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!