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quod pro nobis traditum est

Sunday, April 08, 2007

EASTER DAY HOMILY

. . . You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here . . . there you will see Him, as He said to you.

He is risen! Alleluia!

The young man clothed in a long white robe announces the news to the witnesses, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the Mother of James, and Salome, that He is no longer in the tomb where they laid Him. As Jesus said to them, He would suffer and die and on the third day be raised from the dead. Now, what seemed to be merely wishful thinking is confirmed. They come to seek Jesus of Nazareth. He goes before them to Galilee and the young man is there to point them to where they may find Him. They are to go and tell His disciples - and Peter. In the Church today the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the Apostles, Peter and Paul, and all the rest point to Jesus risen from the dead in the flesh. The Apostles would themselves suffer and die for teaching and preaching Jesus Christ crucified and Him risen, as the young man announces to the women before the empty tomb on that first Easter Day.

The angels had also announced Jesus' birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Glory to God in the Highest and peace on earth to men! The coming of Jesus in the flesh as Jesus of Nazareth is the beginning of a life doing the work of the Father, fulfilling His Word and His Law, and bringing His peace to men that they may participate in the new life of salvation that He comes to bring. So Jesus suffered and died. On the cross He finished the work of the Father to make forgiveness possible and reconcile us once and forever to our heavenly Father. So, in pain, He gasps, "It is finished!"

"You seek Jesus of Nazareth." He is risen! Our sins are forgiven. The body is resurrected and we look ahead to His Ascension into glory. And ours! As He goes before us so we will go to be with those who have gone before us. As God is immortal so He makes that which is perishable into that which is imperishable. He will raise our bodies on the Last Day. The water and blood that flows from Jesus' side in His Church give witness of this and not only do they witness, but they bear the truth of the Spirit, that we are baptized into Christ's Death and Resurrection. We are raised to new life in Christ. We are participants of His Risen Body and Blood given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins, just as we hear that same forgiveness proclaimed to us by those young men sent to us in white robes. Sin, death and the gates of Hell will not prevail. Look at Jesus of Nazareth! He is risen as He said!

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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