Weekly Homily from Fr Jim Hogan, Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

I apologize for the late posting of this.  I have had a busy week or so helping my daughter and her husband move into a brand new home and also celebrating Easter with family and friends.  Mea culpa……Reyanna

•Acts 10:34, 37-43 • Colossians 3:1-4 • Mark 16:1-7•

Scripture Readings: Easter Sunday

I want to tell you about two of the most important people in my life. The first is Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen who is commonly known as “Dutch.” The second is Sister Dorothy Feehan, BVM. who is commonly known as “Dot.”

“Dutch” is 93 years of age and because of several minor strokes must now depend on others to assist him in the most basic physical activities. “Dot” is 88 years of age and because of severe osteoporosis her mobility is very limited and she now depends on others to assist her in various ways.

While still very young both “Dutch” and “Dot” chose to believe that Christ is risen! (Truly he is risen!)  It is clear and obvious that choice shaped and formed each of them into the amazing human beings they are. In spite of their limitations they are very happy and peaceful people. They continue to love and affirm others. Unconditional love is transformative. They inspire me and seem to inspire everyone who knows them.

They, and many others like them, are the reason I choose to believe. So today with you I reaffirm my choice to believe that Christ is risen! (Truly he is risen!)

As the three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome approached the tomb where Jesus was buried, with their spices, they wondered. “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance?”  Their concern was legitimate, for unlike at most tombs, according to Mark the stone at this tomb “was very large.”

No one knows why Mark emphasizes, “the stone was very large.” Perhaps this is a metaphorical image employed to acknowledge it is difficult to believe. That was the challenge facing the three women. “A young man dressed in white” tells them something happened they never could expect. He tells them “they are mistaken in looking for him in the world of the dead.” “He never will be found in the world of the dead.” The young man was calling them to trust, to believe.”

He is going to Galilee, ahead of you; there you will see him.” Here is additional metaphorical imagery. Only our faithful following of Jesus, our imitating him, will enable us to experience him as risen. He welcomed people, healed them, forgave them, and awakened a new hope in all.

Like those three women with the spices, “Dutch” Hunthausen, “Dot” Feehan and all of us can experience the Risen One full of life in our midst only if we experience what he did that led to the cross. He loved people, even the high priests and Pilate, without condition. In loving without condition he became fully human and fully alive. Thus God raised him to new life with a renewed
body so that he — the Risen One, is now the starting point of a “new reality,” a new creation extending into the furthest reaches of the cosmos.

There is the key. At some point early in life, both “Dutch” Hunthausen and “Dot” Feehan had a genuine experience of that hidden ground of love at the very center of our being, that Gracious Mystery we name God. At that time they each chose to trust whatever calling they heard deep within. Unconditional love is transformative.

We are faced with the same possibility. In some way each of us has had a genuine experience of that hidden ground of love at the very center of our being, that Gracious Mystery we name God.  If I choose to trust that experience and what I hear deep within me; and if I choose to love others,
including my enemies, without condition, the shadow of the cross will fall upon my path as well.  When it does — trust! Surely the Holy One who raised Jesus to new life is faithful to me as well. I am convinced I have experienced the Risen One in “Dutch,” in “Dot” and in so many of you. That is why I believe that Christ is risen! (Truly he is risen!)

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