Catholic homily for Easter Sunday Year B
Theme: Easter, the Reason for Our Hope
By: Fr. Luke Ijezie
Homily for Sunday April 4 2021
1. Today the Church celebrates Easter, the central mystery of the Christian faith. Easter gives us the reason to keep hoping even when all appear hopeless. The virtue of hope helps one to live with focus. With hope we organise our lives better because we know where we are going. Easter gives us the assurance that all is not absurd as it often seems. It tells us to look up and not to fix our gaze only on the realities we see represented by the empty tomb.
- The Gospel reading presents us with the reality of the empty tomb. We can imagine the unspeakable agony of the first disciples of Jesus as the woke up to hear that the tomb of their revered Master was empty. The question all were afraid to ask was: What happened to the body of Jesus? This was the perplexity of all who first saw the empty tomb. They were bewildered. The shameful death on the Cross was demoralising, but now the empty tomb report appears to cast a darker shadow on all they believed about Jesus. It did not yet dawn on all of them that the crucified and dead Jesus had come back to life. It was not even known that a dead man would rise from the tomb. It required strong faith and deeper enlightenment to understand. The empty tomb can be seen as a symbol of the apparent meaninglessness which the visible and experienced world presents to our senses. We are often discouraged, frustrated and even scandalised by the turn out of events which we would have expected to give better results.
Sometimes the horrible things we see and experience incline us to dare some agonising questions to God: Why does He appear silent in the face of evil and oppression? Why does He allow wicked and violent people to strike and go free? Why does He allow innocent and defenceless people to suffer? The question Jesus posed to God before his death remains valid today: My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? But is God really so unconcerned? If the death of Jesus appears to confirm God’s unconcerned attitude, the resurrection of Jesus changes the whole situation. By the resurrection, God shows that He is effectively in control and is ever there to vindicate the just. We only need faith to understandthis mysterious, inscrutableGod.
- In the second reading, Paul admonishes us not to be distracted and bugged down by the earthly things we see. We should learn to look up, to think of what is above where the true values and lasting riches reside, that is, where Christ is seat at God’s right hand. The joy of Easter is the joy of restored hope that life is still meaningful despite the upheavals of the moment. Through the resurrection, God is inviting us to live as people of hope. Unfortunately, today, it has become very fashionable to preach hopelessness and to think only in negative terms due to many unfortunate experiences and their ideological colourings.
May the Risen Christ, who while on earth went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, continue to liberate us from every form of bondage and help and inspire us to rise above every discouraging moment!
Fr. Luke Ijezie