Easter Sunday

A HOMILY FOR EASTER SUNDAY  –  CYCLE “C” – MARCH 27TH, 2016  –  SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!  Peace and goodness to you on this Great Feast!

We love new things!  Give us the latest and the greatest and we’ll be happy!  At least, until the next latest and greatest comes along.  We like all the light and the space in new homes.  We like the gadgets and the smell in the new cars.  We like watches that will now do more things than Dick Tracey’s watch used to do in the cartoon.  We like new clothes and new phones and new computers and new TV’s.  New things make us feel good.  Consumerism is alive and well in 2016.  And there are new things that we would like to have, and then there are new things that we have to have.  For example, eventually everybody has to have a new toothbrush.  You can only use a toothbrush for so long, people!  I had a roommate in college that used the same toothbrush every year for four years!  Guess what I gave him for graduation?  Well, clearly he wasn’t going to buy one for himself!  Nobody re-uses a Q-Tip, or a band-aide, or Kleenex!  When you need one of those items, you want a new one.  Unless of course, you only have one Kleenex, and it is all you have, then you may have to re-use it.  It is better than your sleeve!  Disposable items are exactly that, DISPOSABLE!  That’s why you have to buy more.  You gotta buy some new ones to replace the ones you use.    So whether or not you have to buy something new, or you want to buy something new, new things are good.  Put the word “new” on something, and you’ve got our attention.  So often, we associate “new” with “new and improved”.   And while that’s not always true, we do love new things.

Because we love new things, this Feast Day is for us!  We come together to celebrate the Great Feast of Easter today, and everything that this Feast is about is new.  Easter could be the Feast of the NEW!  New Life came back into that dead body of Jesus in that tomb on Easter morning!  This is the most important, most pivotal moment in the history of mankind!  It was like time and life started new in that grave just outside of Jerusalem on that first Easter morning.  New life came rushing back into Jesus’ body!  Think about that!  That fact is what we’re here to celebrate today!  In two-thousand years of history, no scientific expedition, no historical investigation, has ever been able to discover the mortal remains of Jesus Christ.  The tomb was empty and no body was ever found!  The testimony of the eyewitnesses still stands today, almost two-thousand years later.  These early Church witnesses went to their deaths proclaiming what we come here today to proclaim, namely, that Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead, Alleluia!  Who dies for a lie?  They firmly believed in the Resurrection.  And many of them went to deaths rather than renounce that truth!  How much do we believe in Jesus Christ and the Resurrection?  Isn’t that really the main question as we come here today?

And so today, this Easter, we are invited once again to a new life in Jesus Christ!  And it is new.  It is always new!  And it is always new to us, because the more and more that we accept what happened in that empty grave, the more different we become!  We can’t stay the same.  You can’t come here to this church today, on this Feast Day, and not be changed, not become new!  We are going to walk out of this building in a just a short while, different people than when we came in here.  We can’t be the same.  You can’t be the same in your marriage.  You can’t be the same in your family, or with your friends.  You can’t be the same at your workplace or at school.  You can’t be the same when you’re watching TV or on the internet.  You must be different!  You must be new!

To be new, we have to let go of the old.  To be recreated in Christ, like Him, we have to surrender ourselves into His Father’s hands.  This acceptance of the Father’s will and plan for us, is what will unlock the door to new life for each of us!  We are not going to escape our own Garden of Gethsemane.  We are not going to escape our own crosses.  But God’s good news for us today is that Resurrection is now our hope.  God gives each of us the power today to enter into newer, better, and happier lives, no matter what trials or crosses may come our way.  The key to our new life is to do as Jesus did, to surrender ourselves more and more into the hands of our Father in Heaven!

We do love new things.  Then, today, we’ve got to love this new life is Jesus is offering us!  May the glory of Easter be in each and every one of us today!  This really is a new start for all of us, a new beginning!

From Fr. Travis and myself, Deacon Steve, our seminarians, Will and Joe, from both our Parish and School staffs, and from all of us here at St. Maria Goretti Parish and School, may you have a happy and blessed Easter Feast this year!  We thank God for the new that He has begun in us.  Let us see this through to eternity!

+  May God bless us this Easter,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                          AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…                                         Pray for us !!!