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Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter: The Greatest Miracle in Human HIstory!

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton 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 was raised from the dead.
Today’s celebration reminds us that the resurrection is not something to be seen with normal eyes. It is something to be seen with the eyes of faith through the words of the witnesses we hear in the scriptures. We hear of these witnesses in today’s first reading (Acts 10:34-43) as Saint Peter proclaims “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.” 

And that he was put to death. But God raised Him on the third day and granted that he be
visible, to those “witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”

Yet, our faith in the resurrection of Our Lord does not come simply from the words of the witnesses we hear in the scriptures. Our faith is also greatly inspired by the ways in which these witnesses lived their lives. 

In fact, the impact of the resurrection of our Lord in the lives of the early church was radical indeed! Several early members of the Church gave up literally everything, even their very lives in order to live as Christians! 

These individuals suffered the most horrendous deaths as a result of their faith in the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus! They suffered crucifixions, stonings, beatings, burning at the stake, and even being thrown to lions!

Today’s celebration of the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus from the dead calls us to a new and radical way of living!

In today’s second reading (Colossians 3:14), 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.”

As Christians, we are to listen to these words of Saint Paul! We are to live our lives not for the world, but for God! For the resurrection teaches us who we are to become. 

We are to become children of God. We are to be resurrected with Our Lord at the final resurrection. 

Yet, if we want to live in the resurrection with Our Lord, than we must strive to make changes in our lives today. We must strive to remove from our lives all impurity because nothing impure can enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The resurrection reminds 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 as more and more persons conform their lives to the spirit of the world.

When we live for the world we are not happy, and when the spirit of the world takes over our lives, then we bring degradation upon our souls. This is why Our Lord has come. He has come to call us out of the world because the world in its present form is passing away, and it is taking many souls with it. 

In fact, our Lord has told us that only a few will enter into the narrow gate of heaven. For the gate that leads to damnation is wide, and those who enter through it are many. 

Fr. John Paul Shea 
My brothers and sisters, Our Lord is coming again soon, and He will judge the living and the dead! Therefore, our Lord calls us to live for Him. He calls us to seek what is above. Our Lord wants us to pray. He wants us to live chastely and devoutly.

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. Let us be on fire for our faith as was the early disciples of our Church! For Christ has risen indeed! Alleluia!

Did you enjoy this homily. Fr. Shea has another one on Palm Sunday called

PALM SUNDAY: This Holy Week Ends in a Showdown between Good and Evil

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