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Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Resurrection Is The Foundation of Christianity

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015
Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Tucson, AZ

Happy Easter! Alleluia! Christ is risen! 

My brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the greatest miracle in human history, the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. It is in fact the resurrection of Our Lord that is the foundation of Christianity! 

Everything we believe and all that is sacred stands on the fact that Christ has resurrected from the dead! Today’s celebration reminds us that the resurrection is not something to be seen with ordinary eyes, but with the eyes of faith through the words of the witnesses of we hear in the Scriptures. 

Yet, our belief in the resurrection of Our Lord does not come simply from the writings of the early disciples. It comes from the radical changes we see in their lives! 

Early Christians gave up  everything -- their lives, their goods, position and sometimes their family in order to live  as Christians. 

These individuals suffered the most horrendous deaths as a result of their faith. They suffered crucifixions, stoning, beatings, burning at the stake, and were fed to the lions. 

Today’s celebration of Our Lord’s resurrection is both glorious and challenging. Through the resurrection we are given new life! But in order to live this new life we need to radically change our lives! 

In today’s second reading (Col. 3:1-4), Saint Paul says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”

So, the resurrection of our Lord calls us to focus our hearts not on the things of the world but Something Greater than what is on earth! 

The resurrection teaches us we are to become children of God, destined to appear with Our Lord at the final resurrection.

The resurrection teaches us that even in this life, when we live for God, our body becomes a temple of light. But, when we live in sin, our body becomes a vehicle of darkness.

We can see this darkness in the lives of many in our society today! Those who live solely for the world, suffer the pains of the world. Drug addicts… those who use their body for immorality...those who lie, cheat, or steal are not happy. They live miserably! 

In fact, whenever any one of us lives more for the world than for God, then we become despondent as well.

But Our Lord has come  to call us out of the world because in its present form, it is passing away. Our Lord calls us to live for Him alone, to seek what is above. Our Lord asks us to pray, to live chaste lives, to know and live the truth by learning Scripture and the teachings of His Church. He wants us to teach our children about the commandments and the teachings of our Church. He wants us to love Him and our neighbor with a true and honest heart, to strive to be holy! This is how to become a resurrected people!

Fr John Paul Shea
Our Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! He died and rose so that we can share in His resurrection. But if we want to share in our Lord’s resurrection, we must live holy lives now.

So let us seek conversion of heart and purity of mind and body so that we can become the resurrected persons our Lord has died for. And let us praise the glorious resurrection of our Lord! Let us give glory to His name! For Christ has risen! Alleluia!

Enjoy this sermon? There's more by Fr. John Paul Shea. Try "Who is Fr. John Paul Shea? From Mormon to Catholic Priest."

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