YEAR C: HOMILY FOR EASTER SUNDAY
HOMILY THEME: Let Your Life Henceforth, Proclaim that Jesus is Alive.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: “And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be the judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42)
With every sense of joy and excitement, I say a big Happy Easter to you all. Now that lent is over, the question on our minds is “What next?” This is where our readings today come in. As soon as Jesus rose from the dead, he immediately gave instructions to Mary Magdalene that the news of his resurrection should be spread to others. “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17).
Indeed, our Easter celebration would not be complete if we do not proclaim to the world what we have seen and heard. This is exactly what Mary Magdalene did in our Gospel passage today. She became an apostle to the apostles. Also, in our first reading, we see Peter proclaiming boldly a summary of the life of Jesus to a group of Gentiles. Luke tells us that Peter was still speaking when the Holy Spirit descended upon all who were listening.
Do you consider the resurrection of Christ as Good News? Then, do not keep it to yourself, do not assume everyone already knows. Do not keep silent except if you are not convinced that Christ has truly risen. Indeed, the best proof we have to show that we have celebrated Easter is by letting our actions speak of the resurrection of Jesus. Our lives must now begin to reflect more than ever that we have encountered Jesus who is no longer dead but alive.
The way we decide to live, the choices we make, the way we relate with others, the kind of words we use, our dressing, our sincerity, our willingness to help and forgive and so on goes to show whether we have risen with Christ Jesus. As St. Paul admonishes in our second reading: “If you have been raised with Christ, set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2).
St. Paul goes on to mention how must set our minds on things that are above: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these, you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Colossians 3:5-10).
In a recent encyclical letter, Christus Vivit, Pope Francis addressing the youths and the Church in general talks about the need for us to become more conscious of the fact that Christ is fully alive. Jesus is not some historical figure who lived many years ago like you speak of philosophers or inventors, Jesus is alive here and now. However, many Christians today live as though Jesus belongs to the past. Dear friends, I ask you today: Do you really believe that Jesus is alive? Then let your very life proclaim your answer.
Do you notice that the way you speak of someone when he or she right there with you in the room is always different from the way you speak about the person when he or she is not there? When we continue living in sin, we disgrace and betray Jesus, we live as though we still belong to the darkness, as though Jesus is still in the grave. When we are unable to defend our faith and stand by what we profess, we act like Peter who was too afraid to own up to his identity, we behave as though Jesus is still on trial before the Roman court.
As you go about your daily activities from today, have a Jesus-is-alive consciousness. Remind yourself constantly of His presence within and around you, put away the works of darkness, take your minds from earthly pursuits and seek the things that are above. Let your life proclaim that Jesus is Alive.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, may I rise just like you from death and use me to spread the Good News. Amen.
Happy Sunday. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Easter Sunday. Year C. Bible Study: Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118, Colossians 3:1-4 and John 20:1-9).