Ours was about “Jesus is alive”. A nice, safe, feel good homily about how a little girl ran down the aisle shouting, “Jesus is alive!” after the parents and children had been invited into the sanctuary at a previous Easter Mass somewhere, to stand around the altar with the priest proclaiming with ever-increasing vocal emphasis that Jesus is alive.
Pastor wanted us to go beyond thinking Jesus wants us to follow Him. He wants us to be His disciples and live the Catholic Faith and Catholic Truth… not just follow blindly as some do.
He also asked us to join him in a short quiet prayer at the end of the Mass for all those who simply left right after Communion… that they might some day come to a better understanding of the Eucharist.
(by the way… our house guests this weekend were from Ottawa )
Ours was about how many of us think the Apostles and Disciples had an advantage being there at the Crucifixion and Resurrection, not only at that time, but in knowing Him for 3 years or so.
Fr Noel Mc’Gahan said it isn’t true, many didn’t believe Him even though the saw Him first hand.
He said even 20 centuries later He is still with us, also that many thought all was lost until this Glorious Sunday morn when news filtered through that " He is Risen"
It was longer than this, but I can’t recall all of it word for word, he did say for many, believing now as then was a great leap of faith.
Our pastor gives beautiful homilies. He spoke on allowing the love of God to roll back the stone that keeps us in the darkness of our own tombs, separating us from Him who is all Love; and how our Lord is always there with outstretched arms waiting for us to jump into His loving embrace.
In one church where I go, I have not the foggiest. The microphone-speaker system is kept permanently turned up too high that the priests voice is so distorted, he sounds like a bingo caller. So while the homily is being preached, I close my eyes and reflect on the Saviour.
In the other church, the theme was on love. This priest is into Zen so preaches a lot on the theme of love.
There have never been good ole’ days in the exile of this vale of tears. The better days were those before the fall, those when Christ walked the earth, and those in which the Holy Spirit has dwelt in the Church. We hope in the best days, that is when we will live for eternity with Our Heavenly Father!!
He was making reference to people who wish they had been alive at the time that Jesus walked in the world. His point was that we are closer to Jesus now than anybody (except Mary, of course) could have been, back then.
Our priest (not the church I usually attend) was preaching about how the women went to the tomb probably wondering how they were going to be able to move the stone themselves to get in and get their task done.
They got there, and not only found that God by his own power had removed that stone standing in their way, but that behind it lay the empty tomb - the affirmation of their faith in Christ.
His conclusion was that if we try in good faith to do what God requires of us he not only helps us practically but deepens and affirms our faith in the process.
In the sermon, he explained why we say in the Creed “He descended into hell.” Spoke about the four levels of the underworld, how Our Lord went to the Limbo of the Fathers to lead the just to Paradise. Etc, etc. Basic traddy stuff.
Our pastor related the rising of Jesus to modern times, we do not believe what we can’t see. He revealed how Thomas didnt believe till he saw the wounds on Jesus. He then discussed how there are different parts of Catholic belief that we accept and believe but at times have our doubts about different things.
Out service was also bi-lingual and very nice. We started outside with the holy fire.
I was very blessed this year with 2 wonderful Easter homilies from 2 different priests.
During the Easter Vigil Mass, the priest at one point in his homily spoke about how the stone was rolled away from Christ’s tomb. He pointed out that this wasn’t necessary for Christ to rise from the dead and leave His tomb, but the purpose of the stone being rolled away was so that the women would see that it was empty. The priest went on to say that we should wonder if there are any stones in our lives (stones of worry, sin, doubt, etc.) that keep us from coming close to Jesus and seeing His empty tomb, and to pray that He will remove those stones that are blocking us from Him. I found that very inspiring.
Today I went to Mass and heard another inspiring homily from a different priest, who also at one point brought up the Vigil Gospel, where one of the Angels tells the women that they’re lookig for Jesus in the wrong place, since they’re looking for the living among the dead. The priest used this to make a very powerful point about our own faith in Christ - he told us to consider which Jesus we were looking for - the dead Jesus or the Risen Jesus? Are we looking for a dead Jesus who won’t ask anything from us other than for His body to be anointed with oils by us coming to Mass for an hour a week and maybe saying a prayer half-asleep once in a while? He said that if that’s the Jesus we’re looking for, one Who won’t ask anything from us, then we shouldn’t be surprised if our lives aren’t changing, that we don’t have true happiness in life. He said that we need to look for the Risen Jesus, Who can transform us and renew us, and be willing to follow Him and His commandments.
That’s definitely one of the most powerful homilies I’ve heard in a while - this priest was trying very hard this weekend to get to the people who only come to church because it’s Easter, trying to get them to be more committed to Christ in the Eucharist, and I think he did a great job today, especially in that regard.
God bless these wonderful priests, and of course all priests everywhere.