Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
A Homily - Cycle B - 2011-2012
by Rev. Luke Dundon

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First Reading - Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second Reading - Colossians 3:1-4
Gospel - John 20:1-9

John wrote to show that Christ was
the Messiah, the Divine Son of God.

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him."  So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.  They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.  When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.  Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.  For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

On behalf of the priest and staff of St. Philip’s Catholic Parish, I want to wish you all a most Blessed and Glorious Easter!  My name is Fr. Luke Dundon, I am one of the parochial vicars stationed here with pastor Fr. Denis Donahue, along with Fr. Tarsicio Buitrago.  You know one of the greatest joys of being a parochial vicar?  One of the most elated perks?  One of the highest consolations and deepest reasons for giving thanks?  I’ll tell you - - - one of the greatest joys of being a pastor’s assistant is the ability to say “I’m not the pastor, you’d better talk to him.”  “You see, I’m a NEW priest, I’m green behind the ears, so I would *highly* recommend speaking with Fr. Donahue about this matter . .

Indeed . . . Fr. Donahue, the pastor - - - you see, being a NEW priest, I don’t have much of that thing they call ”wisdom and experience.”  Every so often, when difficult scenarios arise, or tricky situations come about, I need a little advice, I need a wee bit of help . . . and so I turn to my boss, who’s already been blessed with 21 years of God-given priesthood, and things often turn out a LOT better than if I tried to tackle it on my own!  When a difficult experience arises, it’s nice to know that someone has already gone through it, and can show me the way.

However, I don’t think there is anything MORE difficult, than death itself.  We all know, it confuses us, it confounds us, it SCARES us!  When Jesus died on that cruel Good Friday, there were probably at least a few disciples who were tempted to give up on our Lord.  And yet, on this GLORIOUS Easter Day, on this day of LIGHT and LIFE and VICTORY, we can confidently say, “It’s OK!”  The tomb is EMPTY . . . the burial cloths have been left behind,  Recent findings of the Shroud of Turin show that an image on that cloth was left there almost INTENTIONALLY, to remind others of a man’s death AND resurrection . . . Someone has already GONE BEFORE US, Jesus our Savior is showing us the way, Jesus Christ has CONQUERED the sting of death, let every corner of this building SHAKE with joy, we will live FOREVER!!!  And what IS the way?  Where DO we follow?  Where will WE find the resurrection as well?

We need look no farther than this Church . . . we have come to the empty tomb, through the waters of Baptism . . . through the oils of Confirmation . . . and through UNION with Him in the Holy Eucharist.

We had almost 30 people join our parish family last night.  Thirty people received the Eucharist for the first time, the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus risen from the dead.  Every time we receive our Lord in Holy Communion, we partake in the resurrection.  Our Lord has turned sorrow and sadness on its head, and in its place offered eternal joy.  We can partake in this joy in the Holy Eucharist, which is possible only BECAUSE He has risen from the Dead.  We come to Church every Sunday, only BECAUSE the Tomb is empty!  We can say, “in God we trust,” only BECAUSE He is alive, never to die again! 

Jesus’ Resurrection from the Dead touches so many aspects of our lives, THIS celebration has only just begun!  BECAUSE His Resurrection touches everything, BECAUSE He has gone before us, we can breath with confidence and peace, there is NOTHING that we need to fear, and today we have the proof - - - the tomb of our Lord is empty . . . it HAD to be empty . . . so that OUR own tombs could be empty as well!  He is Risen, Alleluia!

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