April 16, 2017 Easter Sunday
At the Easter Vigil celebration, a man, Mr. Anderson, dozed off during the homily. The priest was upset and decided to rectify the situation. When Anderson was dozing, the priest said in a calm voice, “All who want to go to heaven with the Risen Lord, please stand up.”
Everyone stood up, except Mr. Anderson. After they were seated, the priest said, “Now all who want to go to hell, please rise” and yelled out the two words “please rise.” Quickly the sleeping man jumped to his feet, looked around and sized up the situation then spoke to the priest, “Father, I really don’t know what we’re voting on, but it looks like you and I are the only ones in favor of it.”
Christ’s emergence from the tomb is important for us. Christians live a life of Resurrection every day. That life somehow the “cradle Catholics” do not appreciate much. We may sleep through the comfort zone of our life. Some may say, “I’m Catholic; I was born Catholic; I celebrate Easter every year, what would make it different this year?
But if you have a chance to work with newcomers in the RCIA program, you would have experienced the effects of the new life in the Risen Christ. Every year the Church welcomes thousands of adults and children around the world through baptism or receives the already baptized from other churches into the new life of the Catholic Church. While working with them, I witness their response to an inexplicable call of God at the hands of our local community. They discern and welcome God’s invitation to embrace a new life in the Catholic Christian community and thus serve the mission of the Risen Christ in the world. Their conversion tells us that God is still at work among his people and Easter still brings new life to every one of us.
I would like to thank all of you who have participated in our Lent and Easter Celebrations, especially the Liturgy Committee, the Choirs, soundboard, RCIA Team, the Decoration Committee, the Lectors, Altar Servers, ushers, Eucharistic Ministers and everyone. I think Easter always is a beautiful liturgical season. Thanks again.
We gather each week around the Table of the Lord to celebrate the astounding events that happened on that first Easter all those years ago. Each Sunday we strengthen our faith through the reading of the Scriptures together and through sharing Christ’s body and blood as he told us to. In this way we grow closer to one another and to God each Sunday.
Christ resurrected on Sunday. That is why Sunday is the most important day of the week. Sunday is a small Easter and Easter is a great Sunday. Our Sunday Mass is not some mere weekly spiritual routine we carry out on a rest day from work. It is the very source of our life as Christians. It is our weekly celebration of the Resurrection and the very reason for calling ourselves Christians. Catholics have always been very strong about the need to attend Mass on Sundays.
So let us enjoy this feast day when we commemorate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us rejoice and be glad. Let us praise God and thank him for all he has done for us. On our part, we try our best to keep our commitment to God and ask God for the strength to remain faithful in the year ahead.
Happy Easter. Alleluia, Alleluia.