Easter Sunday Morning, Year C – Homily

Easter Sunday, Year C
Acts of the Apostles 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 (24)
Colossians 3:1-4
John 20:1-9
April 17, 2022

Early, “while it was still dark,” Mary of Magdala came to the tomb on the first day of the week.

Whose tomb?  Why is she going there while it was still dark?

To begin to understand this, we must first know whose tomb it is.  This passage comes from chapter 20 of the Gospel of John.  Much has happened leading to this moment, culminating in the Crucifixion of Jesus.  He was then laid in the tomb.

It is his tomb that Mary of Magdala went to.  She found “the stone removed from the tomb.”  She thought someone has “taken the Lord from the tomb.”  So, she ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple to tell them.  In turn they ran to the tomb.  They found the tomb empty.  When the other disciple went in, we are told “he saw and believed.”  His belief was not one of complete understanding for “they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.” 

They would come to understand that Jesus had risen on the first day of the week.  This is why we celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, a new beginning.

Still, to appreciate what the Resurrection means, we need to know what had happened.  In our first reading from Acts today, Peter is giving a discourse about what has happened.  He speaks of “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and Power.  He went about doing good and healing…They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.  This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible.

To appreciate the Resurrection, we need to understand why Jesus was put to death.  Crucifixion was considered the worst form of execution.  Why was Jesus crucified?

He had done nothing wrong.  He was innocence.  He was not crucified for anything He had done.

He was crucified for our sins.  It was our infirmities that He bore.

Jesus died for us. 

Jesus died to save us from our sins because He loves us.

Not only did He die for us, risen He appeared to his disciples so that we might know what it means to share in the Resurrection.

Knowing all this, we should make Jesus our cornerstone.  We should “seek what is above.

What does it mean to make Jesus our cornerstone?

It means to have faith in what He says and to build our lives on that.  To do this, we need to read most especially the gospels but the whole New Testament to hear what Jesus teaches us and offers us.

It is Jesus to who “all the prophets bear witness.”  Thus, to understand Jesus, we need to know what the prophets had said.  That means we need to read what the prophets said in the Old Testament.  The prophets had long foretold the coming of a Messiah.  Isaiah alone has four passages that speak of a suffering servant whose suffering will justify many.

Jesus suffered greatly in his Passion.  He didn’t want to suffer.  In the garden He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”  Jesus accepted his suffering because He knew it would save us.

The Bible, both the Old and New Testament, are the story of God’s love for his people.  It begins with God creating the universe and putting humanity at the pinnacle of creation. 

Yet, humanity did not always follow God’s way.  Original Sin came when Satan tricked Adam and Eve into eating the forbidden fruit.  There were people of great faith like Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac in faith. 

God’s people would face great difficulty, like finding themselves in slavery in Egypt.  God would rescue them through Moses and led them to a land flowing with milk and honey. 

Still, they grumbled.  They sinned.  God allowed them to sin and to suffer the consequences of their sin.  When they repented, God would rescue them. 

Jesus comes to rescue us from our sins.  His willingly giving his life on the Cross is the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  His Resurrection shows us eternal life.

Do we understand all of this?

Probably not, but we can believe.  We are saved.  Jesus Christ is risen today.

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