Jesus is here to stay
In this short homily for Easter Sunday, Year A, Father Hanly reminds us that today we do not celebrate Jesus rising from the dead to go back to some heaven from where he came. We celebrate something more. Jesus comes to stay.
Readings for Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of the Lord, Year A
- First Reading: Acts 10:34, 37-43
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
- Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4, or First Corinthians 5:6-8
- Gospel: John 20:1-9
In the gospel that we read just now, the women came to anoint and bury Jesus and found an empty tomb. They ran to tell the disciples to announce the astounding news.
It was a difficult time for everyone. A terrible time. Jesus crucified! The death of all their hopes and dreams, and the shame that they had run away, leaving him to suffer and die alone… except, of course, for his mother and few friends.
And yet in his final agony, Jesus was heard to say from the cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” It was to be his final gesture of self-sacrificing love and service to us. The Saviour of the World, and we unable to raise a hand to save him. “Lord have mercy on us all.”
A poet once wrote about the two arms of God: the right arm of Justice, and Justice must be served, and the left arm of Mercy, Mercy, that forgives. And when Jesus cries out on the cross, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,” his Father is left no choice, for his son has asked for mercy and for forgiveness for us all.
Today we do not celebrate Jesus rising from the dead to go back to some heaven from where he came. We celebrate something more.
Jesus comes to stay. He comes to share his life with ours, not to teach us how to die and leave us, but how to live and love in this often sad and weary world.
That is why the Father gives His only Son into our hands, that we might never be alone again, without his loving care.
Jesus knows our aches and pains and all our sorrows too, our need to love and to be loved, to reach out and care for one another as he himself has always cared for us.
Jesus has promised us “to be with us always” and we’ll never be alone again. “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”