|The Women at the Tomb by Julie Rodriguez Jones|
Homily for Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday(Scriptures for the liturgy)
Audio for homily
On entering the tomb the women saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed.”
Oh, how I wish the angel hadn’t told the women,
“Don’t be amazed!”
I’m afraid that might be the one line of scripture
that our age has most seriously taken to heart.
There’s little left in our lives that amazes us.
If you will, we are no longer “amazeable.”
Were we amazed at Christmas to remember that the eternal God,
Creator of all that is, took flesh, became a human being,
a baby, nursing at his mother’s breast
in a barn in Bethlehem?
Were we amazed?
Are we amazed that the baby born in Bethlehem
grew up to be a preacher
and for all his good words and all his good works
and for all his truth and wisdom and miracles
this Cross is what we offered in return, through our sins,
when we found his words and wisdom too uncomfortable to live by?
Are we amazed every Sunday that in this place,
through our neighbors’ voices, in the scriptures:
God speaks to us in the scriptures?
That at least once a week, God wants to have a word with us,
a sit-down, a chat, a conversation –
to tell us how much he loves us?
Are we amazed at this?
Are we amazed that every Sunday,
the Lord who speaks to us
makes of this altar a table
where we offer the simplest of gifts
which he returns to us himself, his Body and Blood –
so intimately does he desire to become one with us
that he invites us to consume him?
Are we amazed?
Too often, the realities of our faith no longer amaze us.
In fact, we are probably more amazed
by what Google or the latest iPhone can do for us
than by what God offers us every day.
that we should be more amazed by the virtual than by the real;
more closely connected wirelessly than personally;
more amazed by gadgets than by God’s presence and power
in our lives.
Are we amazed that each one of us is a person
created by God’s hand?
Are we amazed that God knows each of us by name?
- that God new our names before we were conceived?
- hat God knows our minds and hearts
better than we know our selves?
Are we amazed that God wants us to have some peace,
even and especially when what life throws at us is just the opposite?
Are we amazed at the honesty, the goodness, the generosity
to which God calls every one of us?
Are we amazed that God walks with us, weeps with us,
laughs with us, hurts with us and reaches out to heal us?
Are we amazed that no matter what we do, no matter what we do,
God will forgive us, freely, and welcome us back into his embrace?
Are we amazed that not even death
could keep Jesus from living among us and within us,
inside us, always – this morning?
Can we, this Easter, like the women at the tomb,
be amazed that he rose from the dead and goes ahead of us,
wherever each one of us is going from here:
to home, to work, to school, to our neighborhoods,
to our joys and sorrows, our disappointments and hopes?
Jesus is going ahead of us.
I pray that if only for a moment this Easter,
each of us might sit, quietly, with the Lord
and be amazed at his love for each of us.
Will you and I take a deep breath or two and relax
and be still… be quiet… be at peace…
and know that the Lord, the risen Lord is near, is there,
beside me, above me, below me, around me, within me -
that the Lord who rose from the dead 2000 years ago
is with each of us.
Be amazed, this Easter, that the Risen Jesus isn’t just a story in a book
but that he lives in your heart and in mine…
Jesus is risen from the dead, within you and within me.
And that’s pretty amazing.
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