Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

EASTER SUNDAY: "CELEBRATE THIS FEAST...'

Jn 20:1-9

THE DAY OF EASTER is considered as something superior and excellent. Nothing compares the Easter Day. The rising of Christ, which altered the past and shaped the future, makes the Easter Day the greatest event of the year. Easter announces that there is a way forward out of darkness, transformation is possible and change can take place in our lives.
 
Let us reflect more of the resurrection of Christ:
 
Firstly, Easter should be viewed with FAITH. In the gospel, Mary of Magdala and Peter saw the empty tomb, but their reaction is not one of faith yet. In fact, Mary thought that Christ’s body was taken and was put somewhere. But this is understandable because as the gospel says towards the end, “For they did not understand yet the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.” The reaction of the disciple “whom Jesus loved” is amazing. Why? Because when he saw the empty tomb, “he believed.” Our faith in the risen Lord is anchored on the empty tomb. It is to be seen as a clear proof that indeed our Lord has risen. It is a fulfillment of the promise that “on the third day, he will rise again.” Our simple eyes could not understand well this. We need the “eyes of faith.” In believing, we can see the mystery and the reality beyond the empty tomb. We can see more clearly the meaning of Christ’s resurrection in our life. 
 
Secondly, Easter strengthens our HOPE for the future, that is, our future with God. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead affirms that death is not the end of us. Indeed, there is life after death. We can be certain of this because Christ has showed it to us. Human life is no longer limited by the cycle of birth to death. Therefore, this great event should change our views and reactions when somebody in family dies. The death of a beloved or our own death is something to be seen with much hope because Easter tells us that there is a future that awaits us, a future with God. This is our mark being an Easter people. We live in hope and we offer hope at the same time to others.
 
Thirdly, Easter calls us to live in an entirely new way. With the resurrection of Christ, the world has become a new creation. We are part of this new creation. The world has its own sets of values, and the Church expects that we are not drawn towards these values. Rather, we should counter these values with the values of Christ. The second reading tells us a point along this line. Paul exhorted the Corinthians, “Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough.”  He further said, “Celebrate this feast…. not with the old yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
 
Therefore, Easter is a celebration of faith, hope, and new life. Indeed, the resurrection of Christ has transformed the past. Death and sinfulness have been conquered through the rising of Christ from the dead. His resurrection has also shaped our future. One day we will share in his resurrection. But the new life, which is the risen Christ, should come to pass in this present world. It is a task for us Christians. This is the meaning of Easter! And let us make this Easter celebration more meaningful. HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!
 

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