HOMILY FOR EASTER SUNDAY YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: THE MEANING OF EASTER
BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
The coach of a team lagging behind in score would usually yell these words of encouragement to his players on the court: “Boys, let’s do it! It’s not over till it’s over.” And this is true. The outcome of a game could be reversed suddenly at the dying seconds. And this is precisely what happened to Jesus. On Good Friday, people thought that it was over. Jesus is dead and buried. He is finished. But what they did not know was that there was one more chapter left in the life story of Jesus. “It’s not over till it’s over!” There is victory after seeming defeat; there is resurrection after crucifixion; there is life after death.
The Lord is not dead! He is risen! Alleluia! This Sunday, Easter Sunday, the Sunday of all Sundays, I am sure some people may say, “Yeah, it’s Easter Sunday. So what?” This kind of reaction is becoming common among so many people nowadays. The impact of secularism, materialism and egoism upon the minds and attitudes of people is so strong that spiritual values are now deemed useless and obsolete. So, it is quite important to clarify and emphasize the meaning of this very important celebration. What does Easter really mean for us today? What is the connection of the resurrection of Jesus to our present life in this world?
First, we must remind ourselves time and again that everything in this world is passing away. Nothing is permanent here. Eventually everything will collapse and dissipate. What will happen then? We just cannot continue ignoring the heavenly and eternal realities. Hence, in his Letter to the Colossians, St. Paul earnestly exhorts us: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth” (Col 3:1-2). The resurrection of Jesus tells us that there is a future in store for us; there is heaven we can look forward to when this transitory world passes away; there is life after death. Hence, we ought not to focus our attention only on this material world. For, again, as St. Paul said: “We look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory; what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor 4:18).
Second, our life in this world, aside from being transitory, is also a long, arduous journey. At some point in our lives, we have to ask ourselves: where am I heading? Ten or twenty years from now, what will happen to me? When I grow old, what will I do? When all my children are grown up and have families of their own, where will I go? And then, eventually, we face the inevitable question: when I die, what happens next? Ultimately, we have to ask: what is the meaning of my life?
In the Gospels, Jesus gives us all the answers. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Bread that gives us everlasting life. He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. He and the Father are one. He is God. He is our salvation. And all his teachings and declarations are all proven true because of his resurrection. Saint Paul declared: “And if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.” (1 Cor 15:14). If we are looking for answers to all of life’s questions, Jesus has all the answers, and his answers are all proven true and ratified by his resurrection. We can depend, therefore, on the absolute veracity of his teachings, which will help us find meaning and direction in life. Jesus is the ultimate answer to everything in this world. He alone gives meaning to our life. Without Jesus, we are lost…forever. With Jesus, we will find life in its fullness: “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10).
Third, every day we are confronted with our weaknesses and shortcomings, our inadequacies and failures. We look for a source of power to give us strength, encouragement and support. Jesus is the ultimate source of power in heaven and on earth. With his resurrection, he is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and he fulfills his promise to us: “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). This is the reason why, every time we pray at Mass and in many other liturgical celebrations, we always end with the phrase: “We ask this through Christ our Lord.”
Yes, we are weak. But Jesus is our strength. This is what he revealed to St. Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12: 9). This led the Apostle to conclude: “I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me…For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10). In Jesus, there is power, victory, and salvation. The resurrection of Jesus, then, is not something remote and detached from our life. In fact, our life finds its source, power and meaning in the resurrection of Jesus. Hence, as God’s people, we gather to worship every Sunday, the Day of the Lord, because we joyfully celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
No matter what happens to us and to the world, we will always proclaim that immutable and wonderful truth: Jesus is alive; he is risen; he is Lord! This truth gives us hope, joy and assurance of our final victory and eternal salvation. Happy Easter to all!
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Palmera Springs 3, Susano Road Camarin, Novaliches, Caloocan City 1422