Weekly Homily from Father Jim Hogan for March 31, 2013

 Acts 10:34a, 37-43 – Colossians 3:1-4 – John 20:1-9 – Easter C ’13 

Scripture Readings: Easter Sunday

Print PDF: Weekly Homily 03.31.2013

Christ is Risen!  (Truly he is risen!)  Many of the talked about movies this year focus on the uncivilized, the cruel, the inhuman.  “Lincoln” is about slavery; “Argo” about imperialism and sociopathic politics; “Les Miserables” about human misery;  “Zero Dark Thirty” about torture and assassination. Current movies reflect a deep-seated spiritual disease that infects the dominant culture in which we live.  That dominant culture is in dire need of the Easter message.

We tell our children and invite them to join us in our conviction that Christ is Risen!  (Truly he is risen!)  

Children are not alone in their incomprehension.

Death by crucifixion is horrid!  Romans imposed this form of capital punishment on political criminals.  When Jesus Nazareth was crucified, his followers fled; abandoned him.  Then, “very early in the morning,” while it was still dark, Mary dares stand near the tomb, is shocked, runs to the others. Confusion!  Two of them hurry to check out her bizarre report. Doubts!  They see without knowing what it is they see.

They only know that something outside their ability to grasp happened to Jesus.  They cannot explain what it means but they were unanimous in claiming that Christ is Risen!  (Truly he is Risen!)

I was taught that faith is a gift from God that sort of arises spontaneously in one’s heart.  I was taught it means accepting that box called “the deposit of faith.”  I think faith is the consequence of a spiritual journey in which I get to know Christ.  Ultimately I think faith is a gift rooted in my choice to trust in, follow and imitate the Risen One.  We have chosen and continue choosing to believe that Christ is Risen!  (Truly he is Risen!)  I make this choice because I have experienced the Risen One and his spirit, living in individuals and communities of people like you.  We influence one another and add our voices to all those proclaiming Christ is Risen!  (Truly he is risen!)   Thank you for your influence.

The Cardinals elected a new bishop of Rome and I hope Francis will help us regain the hope of the II Vatican Council and embrace the Risen Christ more fully.  My hope may or may not be realized.  My hope may or may not be fulfilled.  Ultimately it does not matter.

The Risen One who is alive among us, lives in us!  We are the Living Body of Christ and our faith can be encouraged by, but does not depend upon the bishop of Rome or the hierarchy of the church.

Jesus of Nazareth devoted his time, energy and his entire life to what he called “the kingdom or the reign of God.” He was filled with passion for a fuller human life for everyone; for justice and peace for all.   He devoted his time and energy to telling and showing us what the world and our lives will be like if and when everyone embraces his way. Everything he did and said promoted the emergence of “God’s new reality.”  The Gracious Mystery we name God raised Jesus from death, confirming all he lived and taught.

You and I have chosen to believe that Christ is Risen!  (Truly he is risen!)   Today is a moment to remember “the reign of God is within us!”  “God’s new reality” can be seen, heard and touched in people like you and me whenever love flows from us; wherever there is justice and peace and the world is transformed.

It is unsettling to ponder the deep-seated spiritual disease infecting our dominant culture.  Recent movies, and even the extravagant Oscar awards ceremony are a reflection of that disease.  Assault rifles, nukes, assassinations, the entire military establishment denies the great mystery we are gathered to celebrate. So my brothers and sisters I appeal to you.  The dominant culture in which we live is in dire need.  Remember that evolution is a slow process. Gradually but certainly “God’s new reality” is emerging in us and in our world.  “Happy Easter!”  This feast calls us to be renewed in our conviction that Christ is Risen!  (Truly he is risen!)


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