Pastor’s Easter 2020 Message

Posted on April 11, 2020

During our Lenten season, I have spoken on more than one occasion…  about how WE are a people that KNOWs the REST of the STORY.  We are not just a Good Friday people, or an EMPTY TOMB people; nor are we an EMPTY CROSS/Resurrected people.  No, we are a people that KNOWS the FULLNESS of the story, that has received the REVELATION of our Salvation.  We are a people with a GOD, who sent His only SON, a SON that WE who believe in Him, promises that we will NOT perish, but will have everlasting life. A SON who suffered, died and was buried and who ROSE AGAIN.  We have the fullness of the GOSPEL; the witness of the BLOOD of thousands upon thousands of MARTYRS, and the lives of countless Saints who have taught and defended the faith.   And for most of us we have our parents, the model of faith in so many lives.

Today we hear in our Gospel, the story of discovery… discovery of an EMPTY tomb.  There are two constants in all four Gospels…

1. CHRIST is RISEN and 2. Mary Magdalen is the first to arrive at the TOMB on what we now know as Easter.   What she and the others find is an empty tomb. The disciples are confused and do not REMEMBER or understand the teaching of Our Lord about his resurrection.    But, the story ends abruptly with the Disciples leaving and returning to their homes in confusion.  An empty tomb does not necessarily mean RESURRECTION.  BUT, in the REST of the story, Mary Magdalen stays behind…. And discovers JESUS… even though she does not immediately recognize him.

Like Magdelen and the OTHERS,  We come seeking…WHAT are we seeking???…   The MYSTERY as it unfolds in OUR lives.    What Jesus says to her, He says to us..… Whom are you looking for?   Finally, he says her name .. MARY…. And instantly she knows the voice.  She runs to tell the others.. :”I have seen the LORD”   She is called by many…  The Apostle to the Apostles.

Like the men on the Road to Emmaus, WE are gradually led to recognition and inner transformation…in our Eucharist.

The way Jesus joins us on the road… (His presence in assembly)…  He opens the meaning of the Scriptures.. (presence in the WORD)….   He breaks bread with them….. .presence in the Eucharist

Yesterday I stood here at this AMBO… looking out over a vast assembly of empty pews and in amazement…. What came to my mind was the words of Jesus….“Where two or three gather in my name, I am THERE in there midst.”.   What if he had said “where TWO or THREE THOUSAND Gather in My Name; even then He would STILL be present in OUR midst today.”

Here in this place, with such an enthusiastic and eager assembly of the people of God is found a rich sacramentality..  It is an assembly, already gifted with the risen Lords presence, coming forward to bring their gifts to the altar.  This brings the WHOLE CHURCH united together at the Lord’s table, his people, his ministers, ready for the next step in the DOING…”    Do this in memory of me.

Together we lift the sacramental sign of the risen Lords once and for all sacrifice toward the Father and offer the praise of all the Church on earth and in heaven to him THROUGH, WITH and IN HIM, Our Risen Lord,  in the Unity of the Holy Spirit.”  In this great sharing of our communion our APPROPRIATION of this PRESENCE is completed.

We are able to RUN out from this place and declare in the words of Mary Magdalen, WE HAVE SEEN THE LORD….

In just a few moments, we will have the opportunity to declare and renew our baptismal promises.  As we prepare ourselves for that, let us recall the words of the Apostle Paul:   If we die with Christ-we will rise with Him in Glory.

As we prepare ourselves for this, as Christ rose with a GLORIFIED BODY, we too must rise with a transformed and GLORIFIED Spirit.  Let us reflect on exactly what is it that we renounce:  the world we live in is a world filled with violence, prejudice, and indifference.  If We harbor any feelings of anger/ resentment or selfishness, those things we must renounce.   The only thing we proclaim today is that:

Christ has died – Christ IS RISEN – and Christ will come again. We must die to the sin in our lives and set our hearts on higher things/on truth.

My prayer for all the disciples that call this Church of the Nativity home and for all our visitors this day… that you have a blessed and happy EASTER and a Heart that truly knows and grows in Love for our Lord, Jesus Christ.              HE IS RISEN, ALLELUIA!!


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