Homily Easter Sunday Year B He is risen! I believe!

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Homily Easter Sunday Year B

 

In the first reading Peter tells us “Everyone who believes in him (Jesus) will

receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

 

In the Gospel when John saw the empty tomb on Easter Sunday, he believed, though he did not fully understand what it meant for Jesus to rise from the dead.

 

In the second reading we heard.  If we truly believe that because of Jesus’ resurrection, our life is now hidden in Christ. We are to put away malice and weakness. This is in line with what we heard on Ash Wednesday “will you turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel by living a life of sincerity and truth?”

 

To believe in the risen Christ, to believe our sins are forgiven, to make an effort to grow in holiness are not the only effects of Jesus’ resurrection in our lives. In the first reading Peter said that we are witnesses chosen by God to proclaim that He is risen by our words and actions.

 

This is what took place that first Easter and since. Those who experienced the risen

Lord were those who believe in him. The religious leaders and others did not believe. Thus, they did not accept Jesus. And Jesus did not appear to them. Their hearts were closed. But to those who believe and saw, their lives were drastically changed forever.

 

As radical as the resurrection was, they realized that now their lives needed to be rooted in Christ. They realized that they must share their faith in the risen Christ with others.

 

The apostles were no longer afraid of what the people would say or do to them. They were obedient to the commission Jesus gave them. They were confident that his promises were true. “I will be with you till the end of time.” They were full of joy and zeal for the Lord. They knew they were not perfect. They still made mistakes. But Jesus was the Lord of their lives and to him they committed their lives.  In the power of the Spirit the very works that Jesus did and said they would do, they did.

 

In a little while we will have the opportunity to firm up our resolve to be rooted in Christ by renewing our baptismal promises. But the real issue will be what happen afterwards. Will we strive to grow in holiness or return to our pre-Lent, pre-Easter life? Will we witness our faith in the risen Christ or be ashamed of being known as his followers? Those who truly believe experienced his new life and witnessed to others.

 

It may not be politically correct nor culturally acceptable today to publicly express our faith in the risen Lord. But if Jesus thought it important to show his great love for us by embracing the suffering death of the cross for our sake. Can we not be bold and courageous enough to show our gratitude by living our faith in him in a public way? Can others tell we are a resurrected, Alleluia people? He is indeed risen! In him we now live and move and have our being. Go forth and be witnesses of the resurrected Lord. 

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