A HOMILY FOR EASTER SUNDAY – CYCLE “A” – APRIL 12TH, 2020 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Six and a half weeks ago, we came together in this church, to celebrate Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of our Lenten season, 2020. And it started out pretty much like most other Ash Wednesdays. “Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.” We were marked on our foreheads with the blessed ashes. And we made promises to God, of how we were going to spend Lent 2020, in preparation for Easter. We knew that there would be extra prayers, and sacrifices, and even temptations. Six and a half weeks ago NOTHING could possibly have prepared us for where we find ourselves today. Everywhere the entire world has changed. And none of us would ever have believed, six and half weeks ago, that we would NOT be at Mass on Easter Sunday, or that schools and businesses would be closed, or that we would be staying home and washing our hands more than ever before!
I suppose, that for the first Church, those first followers of Jesus Christ, maybe that first Easter was a whole lot more like our Easter this year, than any of our other ones from the past. We’ve got to remember, at that first Easter, Peter, James, John, Mary, Mary Magdalene, all the Apostles and all the first disciples, were really pretty much in shock. They had been through a lot. That first Easter wasn’t what they expected at all either. What should have been a Passover celebration in Jerusalem with Jesus, with special food, and special prayers, and special clothes, just like so many other Passovers that they had celebrated since they were young children, ended up being a time of mourning. Things looked pretty bleak. And that was exactly, exactly when God did His greatest work. Resurrection! That crucified, tortured, beaten body that was laid in the tomb on Good Friday afternoon, came back to life. And a lot like these last few weeks, our world would never be the same again. Death was no longer the end of the story. God, took what looked like an impossible mess, and turned it all around. He brought good out of our tragedy.
And that’s the great news, my brothers and sisters, about the mystery of the Resurrection! The Resurrection is awesome news when we die, when we close our eyes for the last time and go to God. But the Resurrection is even better news now, in this life, when we get to see and experience that amazing things that God can do with our messes! God can bring good out of the most horrible of things! And you don’t have to die to find that out. This is a central tenant of our Faith! We’ve believed this for almost two thousand years now! And the mystery of the Resurrection is as true today, as it was two thousand years ago. Our God is at work. This is a special time and a special opportunity for us as His followers to show His Glory! Yeah, this Easter, and this Lent, and this life is all a little different from our usual way of doing things, but it’s okay. God is still showing us His glory. We need to listen to what the authorities are telling us. We need to be smart and careful. God gave a brain for a reason. And even during this time, we must remember and care for, our brothers and sisters, and not just worry about ourselves! This cross, this Pandemic, begs us to get out of ourselves and to really love and care for our brothers and sisters. And in 2020, we desperately need that lesson. All of us do!
It’s a very different Easter. It’s a very different Easter Vigil. There’s nothing wrong with that. God must have really wanted this one to stand out. There’s will be time later on for the Baptisms, and Confirmations, and First Communions. We do continue to pray for our RCIA folks, God must have wanted them to be a little more ready this year. The celebration of your Easter Sacraments gives us all something to look forward to! Let us put our Faith and trust in God and do the right things.
You know, when I was a little boy, I noticed that both sets of my grandparents seemed to save a lot of things. They didn’t throw much away. My one grandmother saved bread bags. My other grandmother saved rubber bands. My Grandfather saved ever nut and bolt that he ever had. My other Grandfather used to save glass jars and bottles. And I can remember, asking my parents about this, and their standard response always was, well, you’ve got to remember that your Grandparents lived through the Great Depression, and during the Great Depression, people didn’t throw away or waste anything. So we always had bread bags and rubber bands! Can you imagine, forty or fifty years from now, your grandkids and great-grandkids, are going to ask, “Why do Grandma and Grandpa have a special closet full of toilet paper and hand sanitizer? And you’re going to tell your grandkids and great-grandkids, that “Oh, Grandma and Grandpa lived through the Great Coronavirus in 2020. They are afraid of running out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. We’re going to be a little different when this is all over. And so is Easter. And maybe that’s a good thing.
Easter is NOT about eggs, or chocolate, or lilies, or bunnies, or ham! Easter is about an amazing God who can fix and bring good out of anything! Let’s rely on Him today and always!
From all of us here at St. Maria Goretti, Have a blessed Easter! And be safe, stay home, and stay well! God bless you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!