dimanche, avril 16, 2006

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia !

Sermon for Easter Sunday

Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere !
We know that Christ has really risen from dead!
( Victimae paschali laudes )

Dear Brethren,

The third day after His death, Jesus Christ reappeared, triumphant and victorious over death. Coming back from hell to free the just of the Old Covenant, He returned to our world to reconquer it. The reign of Satan is over and the prince of this world has been cast out as we explained last Sunday. Easter is the liberation of God’s people who fell into the slavery of sin with Adam and Eve.

Some people would say that it is the liberation of the entire mankind. This is not false, since Christ died and rose from the dead for all men. Nevertheless all are not freed. All do not benefit from the Passion of Our Lord. All are not saved. Christ has defeated sin, death and hell and He wants us to participate in His victory. But we have still to accept it.

Faith, Hope and Charity are our pass to heaven. Faith distinguishes the believer from the impious and Charity makes him another Christ. Hope encourages him to walk after Christ and to get up if he, unfortunately, falls. These three virtues are deeply rooted in the death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The believer knows he is going to die, soon, but he also knows that he will live with Jesus Christ forever.

Dear Brethren, the Hope of our future resurrection is the foundation of our joy, and I would say, of our life. It gives a deep meaning and importance to our crosses, which we cannot avoid in this world. It gives us the strength to carry them, not only with resignation, because we do not have any other choice, but rather with generosity and enthusiasm. Easter shows us that life is beautiful and will always have the last word.

But how can we see the beauty of life without Faith? The world doesn’t offer a nice face. Men have always sought peace and prosperity, both of which are legitimate and good, but perhaps illusory in regards to our present condition, especially when we seek them out of God. The peace of Jesus is not the peace of this world. He warns us just before His Passion: my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, do I give unto you. Only those who have a soul of contemplation can understand this. The Apostles themselves did not understand until they saw Jesus risen from the dead, except maybe Saint John. And there also were some women near the Cross, with the beloved disciple. The Mother of Jesus, in whom Hope never failed; Mary Magdalene, formerly a great sinner, now a great Saint; and Mary of Cleophas: the most faithful among the faithful of Christ’s disciples.

The new Church seemed to be weak on the day of the Crucifixion. Jesus seemed to have failed his mission. Was He really the Messiah? The Holy women probably did not doubt that He truly was. But their Faith was not yet enough deep. That morning, going to the tomb of Jesus to anoint His body, their thoughts were still too human. Yet Christ spoke many times about His Resurrection, but the heart of man is slow to believe. Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulcher? They didn’t expect to see Jesus alive. They worried because their Faith was weak. Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulcher? Saint Thomas Aquinas answers them: Your heart is closed. Your eyes are heavy. Thus you cannot see the glory, which surrounds the open sepulcher.

The Resurrection of Our Lord is an historical event. But we can understand it only through Faith. We must open our hearts and the eyes of our souls to believe it. Then we must allow ourselves to become totally impregnated with this truth. Otherwise we will still worry about the business of this world. Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulcher? But what does it matter for us? This question concerns only people of little Faith. Instead we should ask the good question: where can we find Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified? The angel answers: He is not here. This means: we will not find Him in the agitation of the world. He is in us, but too often we don’t realize this. He who finds Jesus in his heart finds the true happiness and the peace of soul.

This is the wish I express on this day of Easter for every one of us. May Our Lady help us to find Christ our pasch and to extol him with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


3 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Surrexit Dominus de sepulcro, alleluja.
Qui pro nobis pependit in ligno, alleluja.

A Very Happy Easter! God bless you, Father. The Exsultet and Genesis I. & II. were sung especially well last night.

Father Demets a dit…

Thank you.... Happy Easter to you and your family.

Deus te benedicat !

Anonyme a dit…

Dear Father,
I have enjoyed reading your sermons very much and look forward to seeing you soon. I wish you and Fr. Bouchard a very happy Easter!

Christ is Risen!- Joseph Reidy