Easter Sunday 2020 Homily
Yesterday day morning, I was up early and came downstairs to put some coffee on. Although it was daylight, the sun was just starting to peek from behind the hill across the river. Pouring water into the coffee machine, I first saw him, standing in the old church parking lot, next to his bike, with camera in his hand. No doubt, he was taking pictures of the sun rising behind the hill! It is a view that I have come to know, to love and sometimes taken for granted.
I poured my coffee and made my way into the sun room to begin my morning prayer and reflection on today’s readings, Easter Sunday. Around me and beyond the glass, birds are waking up, chirping; two squirrels compete below for the seed that has fallen from the feeder; the sun rises, reflecting a quiet light from the river and it’s time for the birds to eat; the red breasted robin sits where it can be seen, giving us hope… that spring is here! Around me is a garden of activity. Even my neighbour from across the field brings out his dog and the two look my way. No doubt, he too, was drinking it all in: Resurrection!
Today we hear the beautiful story of how Mary Magdalene and the followers of Jesus gather in another garden, that has become active. For the first time ever, people are beginning to experience the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The one that they journeyed with, ate with, swore that they would never leave but in the end betrayed him, abandon him, refused to acknowledge him; the one who died on the cross for them and buried in a garden tomb… what he said would happen and it did happen… he rose from the dead. So now, everyone is running, literally! And yet it was Mary Magdalene who never took him for granted nor did she give up on him, and followed him even to the cross. Even after the other followers discovering Jesus gone, left Mary stayed at the empty tomb. Why would Mary stay? Because Jesus restored hope in her. Jesus called her back to her true self. Jesus reminded her that she was loved by God beyond all understanding. And because she believed and trusted, she was the first one to experience the resurrection.
What about us? How are we experiencing the Resurrected Jesus this year? Yes, we are confined to the tombs of our homes…away from family, friends and faith community. Therefore, this is a ‘graced’ opportunity to speak with the risen Jesus, just as Mary did? We may not be able to connect physically, electronically, virtually, and so on but we can still talk with Jesus. We have been stripped from all distractions: work, church liturgies, school, hockey, large gatherings with others, parties and festive dinners. Is it not time to sit at the empty tombs of unknowing, of fear, of anxiety? Like Mary Magdalene is it not time to sit and to listen or talk with the risen Jesus, heart to heart? It is time to rejoice in what we have… especially all that we have taken it for granted. There is a ‘newness’ being created, being birthed among us and within us. Jesus has risen, it is what we celebrate, and although things are definitely different this year, in all reality it shouldn’t be. The old order has passed away as it always has with each day… the rising of the sun reminds us of this. It also reminds us that today is new and we are new all because of our faith in a man who rose from the dead two thousand years ago… It is Easter! Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Jesus Christ who is always with us, and never takes us for granted!!
Please know that I miss you all very much but in due time, we will be back together again! Until then, let us hold each other up in prayer!
Easter Blessings Everyone Easter Blessings Everyone!!!