Homily – April 12, 2020

I’m beginning to plan this Easter sermon on the cold but sunny Good Friday. A blue sky gives me a lift. We know there will be no Easter Masses. We know we will not enjoy the uplifting music our choir sings. We know we won’t be greeting fellow parishioners with a cheerful ‘Happy Easter’. Right now we have to say,”I’m not up to it.” We have to admit we’re trying to cope with this necessary isolation. Our walls are closing in. Maybe some of us are struggling with depression or discouragement. Some of us are lucky enough get out of the house for a walk and many of us feel the walls are closing in on us. We long to hear the phone ring or the doorbell. There will be no family gatherings to celebrate this day. We wonder when our own Good Friday will end.

The meaning of these holy days were summed up by St. Paul in his letter to the Christian community in Philippi when he wrote that Jesus did not consider his equality with God as something to clung to. He emptied himself of his divinity and took to himself our humanity, becoming as we all are and became a slave, a slave obedient even unto death, death on a cross. Because of this emptying God has exalted him and give him a name above all other names so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend and every tongue should confess the Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Read these words again and again.

Easter is always the feast on which we celebrate the victory of life over death. The victory of love over hatred. The victor of justice over injustice. The victory of acceptance and welcome over exclusion and rejection. The victory of self-giving over selfishness.

May we be blessed to see these victories in the lives of overworked doctors and nurses and their assistants and kitchen staffs and cleaning staffs in our hospitals and the first providers such as ambulance drivers, policemen and women and firemen and fire women. Good people putting aside their own safety and the safety of their families, their own weariness, their own family concerns, their spare time to be there for men and women and children in need of their expertize.

May we celebrate Easter in gratitude to such men and women who are living examples of the love Jesus showed each one of us as he endured his passion and death and his glorification in his resurrection. May we celebrate Easter being grateful to family members and friends and all who support us in these difficult times.