Two homilies for one Easter

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It's been a long wonderful day and I'm just getting around to posting here.  I preached two homilies for Easter: one at the Vigil and one for the Masses this morning.  For last night I had a text, for this morning, only a few notes and a quote.  The two homilies are quite different.  I thought this morning's reading from 1 Corinthians and the expected presence of many who've been away from the life of the Church provided an opportunity for what I termed an "Easter challenge."  So, no text for the second homily - it's in audio format only at the bottom of the post.

Easter Vigil Homily
(Scriptures for this liturgy)

Audio for homily

O truly blessed night
which alone deserved to know the time and the hour
when Christ rose from the grave…

And part of me wants to complain, “Not fair!”

Not fair! that only “the night” should know
the time and the hour when Jesus rose from the dead.

Not fair! that only the moon and the stars, so far away,
should stand witness to life rising up from death.

Not fair! that even the most faithful of Christ’s followers
were not invited to be present, to see take place
what Jesus had promised.

Not fair! that Jesus himself, upon rising,
had neither family nor friends there with whom to share
the life and peace that filled his risen body,
his body so recently scourged and crucified and pierced.

Not fair, says part of me.
And yet another part of me says, “What a gift!”

What a gift that in the darkness of night
came forth a light no darkness could ever extinguish.

What a gift that in the quiet stillness of night,
there should begin a song of peace that has no end: Alleluia!

What a gift that in the lonely dark of night,
the risen Jesus would have only his loving Father to turn to,
in the power and peace of the Spirit who is theirs forever.

What a gift that we gathered in the dark tonight
to light a fire, to light our way into this place
and into the heart of the risen Jesus.

What a gift that we who know the night and its darkness,
we who know the loneliness between sundown and sunrise,
we who know the anxiety and fear the night can bring,
we who know the darkness of sin in our lives and in our world,
we who know the nights that come when clouds cover even
the moon’s light and the stars’ beauty…

What a gift that in the dark of night - Christ rose from the dead;
that in the loneliest of places, a graveyard,
Christ made good his promise of life;
that in utter stillness, grace triumphed over sin,
quietly and peacefully, in a hidden way...

What a gift that in whatever terror of night we might find ourselves,
that in whatever darkness confuses and confounds us,
that in the loneliest of times and places:
it is there - in our darkness - that Jesus rises
in our hearts, in our souls, in our lives.

What a pity when we stay in the darkness,
hoping that maybe the morning will bring
when all the time it is Jesus who chooses to rise
right in the darkness!

He doesn't wait for the sun to rise,
he doesn't wait for the clouds to uncover the moon and stars:
Jesus rises in our darkness!

What a gift to see that no darkness is deep enough
to keep Christ’s light from shining on us.

And no, it’s not fair at least in this sense:
it's not fair because we deserve none of this.
Christ suffered not for any sins of his own, but for yours and mine.
Christ took our judgment on his shoulders to set us free.
Christ died so that we might live.
Christ rose from the dead, in the dark of night,
that we might know his light and his peace
no matter how dark our night,
no matter how unsettled our hearts might be.

O truly blessed night
which alone deserved to know the time and the hour
when Christ rose from the grave…

In the dark of this Easter night,
already illumined by the light of Christ,
we will walk with one man through the waters of baptism
that he might walk always in the light of the Risen Jesus.

In the light of Easter we will remember our own baptism
and renew the promises that bind us to Christ and one another.

And we will come to the table of Christ’s Supper
and receive in the Eucharist there
the very Body and Blood of him
who makes the night as bright as day
and lights up our hearts with his joy.

Easter Sunday Homily 2013

(Scriptures for this liturgy)
(especially the second reading from 1 Corinthians)
Audio for homily


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1 comment:

  1. Very nice. I loved the metaphor of our being a loaf and dough for Francis - wonderful image because of the layers of sensation in the making, baking and eating of leavened bread!


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