I was out of town last weekend but I wanted to post something anyway. I decided on a homily from April 29, 2012. Have a blessed day.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark 15:43-16:8
“Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen, He is not here; see the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His Disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him, as He told you.”
These are the words of the angel at the scene of the tomb of Jesus. “Do not be amazed”. But let us think about that for a moment. The angel is telling these women not to be amazed although the event that has just taken place is completely utterly amazing by every definition of the word.
You know that often people who know very little about religion will tell you that truth is relative and that all major religions are basically the same etc etc, so on and so forth. I beg to differ. You see there is only one major religion in the world that claims that its leader was crucified like a common criminal. In most cases you see religions that look at their leaders in a triumphalistic way, but with a crucified Lord there is no triumph. Then amazingly with Christianity we see another feature not found in the other major religious groups. The impossible, unlikely, absurd claim that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.
I submit that no other religion has the guts to make such a claim because no one could even imagine such an event. Who in their right mind would believe it? Even in the case of celebrities such as Elvis we see that people always imagine that he is alive…the difference is that some are convinced that he never actually died. But that is hardly the case with Jesus of Nazareth. His crucifixion was a public event seen by many. His disciples went into hiding for fear of the Jewish authorities. They felt that they might be next.
So we are forced into this situation where the angel is telling the women not to be amazed while it is quite apparent that what has in fact taken place is epic, cosmic and amazing. But here is the reason why the Angel tells them not to be amazed……The Lord Jesus not only told them all that He would do it, but since He is God, His ability to do it is simply not amazing. The angel understands this because he understands the true nature of the Son of God. Life is a simple thing to the source and giver of life.
When our thinking is forced to change in such a crucial way that is called a paradigm shift. With the true revelation of the identity of Jesus, there is a new paradigm, a new set of rules…..a new reality. 2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” All things become new in the light of Jesus Christ, in the light of His suffering, His death and the defeat of death.
The resurrection is not simply an afterthought in our lives…..it is our hope and reason for living a life of joy. It is a reminder that even when things in our life are looking bad, maybe terrible, nothing scares us because Our Lord is greater than these things. He says “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The one who has overcome the world has overcome not only the little difficulties of life, He has overcome the worst things that we can imagine. Torture, injustice, cursing, reviling, suffering and finally death. The resurrection is an amazing event that proves to us that the rules have changed. It proves to us that Jesus has overcome the world and all that it could possibly throw at Him. This tells us that because He is on our side, we can and will overcome whatever is thrown at us.
Until we understand the identity of Jesus Christ as the only Son of God we are amazed by the story of the resurrection. After we understand His identity, the story is much less amazing because it is a story about life and life is the signature of God.
May we see His writing all over our own lives.
Comments or questions are welcome! Please leave them below