Congratulations to Kimberly, Linda & Pamela, who will be baptized and receive First Communion and Confirmation. Congratulations also to Matthew, Christopher, Jennifer, Hazelmary, Amanda and Carolyn who will complete their Initiation in the Church.
Remember playing Flashlight Tag - Red Light, Green Light - Freeze Tag?
There are moments in all of our lives that are frozen in time and frozen in our memories. They can be good moments, or bad moments. Moments of utter joy and moments of profound grief.
Remember? (Give time for each to be remembered)
That first kiss. - Yes, I will marry you.
A look on the doctor's face. - The birth of a child – Loss of a job
Graduation - The end of a life.
"DEFINING" moments some folks might call them. As we gather on this Easter we celebrate THE DEFINING moment of our Christian faith –
We call it - the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What Is the Resurrection?
- Some say it is a metaphor – Jesus was still alive in their hearts and minds. He will live on in your memory
- Some – another way to speak of the rebirth of nature after the death of winter. caterpillars to butterflies and frozen earth to green shoots.
- Some – his legacy will live on. Jesus will live on, just like the writings of Shakespeare or the music of Beethoven.
Although it is comforting - THIS IS NOT ENOUGH
First - Understand that Jesus was not asleep. He was dead, really dead. The Romans knew what they were doing. He died on the Cross. His mother held him in her arms. His body was placed in a tomb. On the first day of the week they came to the tomb and it was empty – most logical that the body was stolen – what other explanation could there be?
The angel said: “He is not here. He has been raised!”
Something new and overwhelming had happened. The one who was dead WALKED OUT OF THE TOMB. He took on a completely new form of human life. Not a return to normal life – subject to death – but a new life – no longer subject to death. He was truly there, alive. He spoke to them, ate with them – they touched him – yet he no longer belonged to this world.
This DEFINING MOMENT changed them forever –
Peter – crucified upside down, Paul beheaded – almost all of the Apostles martyred – for a metaphor, a nice idea or a worthy cause? – no = Because He is Risen!
Last night, the Pope had the Stations of the Cross in the Coliseum – amazing when thousands of Christians died there 2000 years ago – why – because he is Risen!
Why on earth would you become a priest and waste your life – because He is Risen!
Why do you try to live according to the teachings of Jesus? – because He is Risen!
Why do you do charitable works for your neighbor? – because He is Risen!
Why do you believe that you will live forever? - because He is Risen!
Tonight – All these adults will complete their Initiation. Why? Because He is Risen.
Tonight – is a defining moment for 3 women. They will now be known as Catholics, as Christians. And from now on, they will be able to touch, to receive, the glorified Body of Jesus in the Eucharist. Why? Because he is Risen!
St. Augustine once said – I can now catch sight of my homeland from afar> How do I get there? The One who is our Goal came to us. He brought us the plank to make our passage.” And now with St. Thomas we can say – My Lord and My God!”