A HOMILY FOR EASTER SUNDAY – CYCLE “B” – APRIL 5TH, 2015 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Many times, we can tell when things aren’t right, by the smell. Most especially, when something has died, a plant, and animal, or a person, we know that things don’t smell so good. Some times our nose is the first to let us know when things aren’t right.
In September of 2013, I arrived back at the Rectory following my annual retreat. And when I pulled into the driveway, I noticed that all three garage doors were up. It was a little unusual. It was very warm that week. And at first I thought that someone had cleaned out the garage. And then I got out of my car. And there it was. There was the most terrible stench in our garage. At first I thought that maybe it was the garbage. But that had all been taken out. Clearly, something had died, or was dead, in our garage. I thought maybe it was a mouse. But the smell was really bad, and it didn’t go away, but seemed to get worse by the day. We cleaned out the garage a couple of times. But we never found anything! After a while, I began to think that maybe Fr. Travis had hid a dead body in the garage, while I was gone. The smell was that bad! We called “Critter Control” who came out and they couldn’t find anything. Phillip cut a hole in the drywall, on one side of the garage, and still we found nothing. And the smell just got worse. Finally, “Critter Control” came back out and this time they sent their best nose. That’s what they said. I’m not kidding! This guy walked all around the garage. And in just a couple of minutes, he found it. They called me and I came running back to the rectory. And he said, “Father, we found a dead pig in your garage.” And I said “What?” He said, “Yeah, we found a package of Baby Back ribs sitting on top of your freezer, and that was the smell. And I knew instantly what it was! It was my entirely fault. I had taken the package of meat out of the freezer to get something else out, and then I left them on top of the freezer for three weeks, in a hot garage. It was a mess. And it smelled like a mess!
Today, things smell really good up here! The lilies and the other flowers, the new candles, and the incense, it smells real good in here. It smells like Easter! We rejoice today as God’s people, because today God gives us a way out of death. God gives us a better way! Jesus opens up the gates of Heaven and invites us, as His people, to a new life in Christ! With Jesus, we don’t have to live by, and according to, the ways of this world. God does have a better way. God does have a better plan! And God offers us more peace, more satisfaction, more joy, and contentment, than anything else that this world has to offer. He offers us Resurrection. Not just when we die, but Christ is offering each one of us the chance to be resurrected right here today, to change our hearts, and to change our lives. We don’t have to be like everybody else out there in the world. The world is dying. We see it every day. It stinks. Greed. Hatred. Selfishness. Pride. Bullying. I guess now, in Indiana, we can all say that we know what it is like to be bullied. Radical Islam. Violence. Our world is a mess. And we know it. If we didn’t know that there was more to the story, we could get depressed. And yet, with Easter, it is like God is saying to all of us, “But wait!” “There’s more!” And it smells good! It smells like lilies!
And so this Easter, just like every Easter, we are given a choice today. Today we live by the way, the values, the falsehoods of the world. OR! Or we can live by God’s way. The world makes fun of God’s way. The world doesn’t believe. The world puts its trust in all of those things that make us feel good. Look at who the world looks up to! Elvis, and Marilyn Monroe, and Jim Morrison, and Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston, and Anna Nicole Smith, and Robin Williams. Those people had it all! They had everything that all the rest of world wants. The world says, “Aren’t those people cool?” I say, those people aren’t cool, they all cold! They are cold because all those people are all dead. And not one of those folks is going to coming back from the dead either. They’re gone. They stink. As Christians we want something more! And every day, we as Catholic Christians, have to choose the things that last, the things that matter, the things that will lead us to Heaven, where everything will smell good.
If you are living by Christ’s way, you know how much better it works! If you’re obeying the commandments and living by the Way that Christ taught, then you don’t have to worry about money, or things, or sexually transmitted diseases. You don’t have to worry about a lot of thing! If you are not living by Christ’s way, if you are still trying live by the way of the world, if you think that popularity, and wealth, and a big house is going to make you happy and give you peace, then I’ve got one question for you: “How that working out for you? How’s that working out for YOU? Does it give you peace? Does it make you happy? Is it going to bring to everlasting life and resurrection? And the answer is “no”, it can’t. It won’t. It’s a lie. It’s such a big lie that it stinks. It didn’t work for Elvis, or Whitney, or Anna Nicole Smith, or any of them! It doesn’t work. That’s the truth that People Magazine doesn’t want you to hear! Jesus has a better way!
This Easter, let’s really give Jesus’ way a try! Not just for a day, but for the long haul. I promise you, it works! It lasts. It gives you peace and true happiness. It might not keep you from forgetting about those ribs that you left on top of the refrigerator in the garage in the summer’s heat. But it will help you to not become like them, or smell like them, after you die!
From all of us here at St. Maria Goretti, Have Blessed Easter and a great time with your family and friends!
May God bless you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!s