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Monday, April 16, 2018

Raised From the Dead!

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
3rd Week of Easter, April 15, 2018
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Tucson, AZ

What a joy it is for us Catholics to celebrate
Jesus pulling Adam & Eve from the Grave
after His Resurrection
this Easter season of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead! What a grace it is that we are called to be resurrected people! 

Today’s readings call us to reflect on the new life we are given through the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

In today’s first reading (Acts 3:13-15, 17-19), Peter boldly proclaims to the people that Jesus is the One who fulfills all biblical revelation in that
“the God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus whom God has raised from the dead.”

Peter wastes no time proclaiming what to do with the revelation of our resurrected Lord! He says, “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away." This theme of repentance is the message of today’s other readings as well. In today’s Gospel (Luke 24:35-48), Our Lord appears to His disciples after He had risen from the dead. He proclaims that He is the One who fulfills the words of the prophets of old that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day; and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

My brothers and sisters, today’s message of
Fr. John Paul Shea
conversion and repentance proclaimed after the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the essential message of our faith. This is why Jesus suffered and died. He died so that we would repent and be forgiven of our sins so that we could have eternal life!

Today’s second reading (John 2:1-5a) teaches us that Jesus is the expiation for our sins,
“and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world...” John encourages us to keep Our Lord’s commandments. He says, “The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.” For “whoever keeps [God’s] word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.” It is only by keeping God’s commandments that we live in Truth. John says in the beginning of today’s reading that he wrote these so that we may not commit sin. John understood as did the other early disiples of Our Lord that the goal of our Christian life is to be reconciled with God and strive to sin no more!

In today’s Gospel, as we hear of the appearance of Our Risen Lord, we hear that the disciples thought they were seeing a
ghost. Our Lord shows them that He is not a ghost. He shows them His hands and side -- that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as He does. Our Lord eats with His disciples.
In doing this, He convinces them that it was the same living body which they had seen, touched, and felt, yet it was at the same time a body that was glorified. In His resurrection, Jesus has given us a preview of the resurrected life that all faithful Catholics are called to share. Each one of us has been given a body and a spirit. We have been born into this world in the flesh but our spirit lives inside us. Our bodies and our spirit are
intimately connected. This intimacy of our body and souls is not only of this world we live today, but this intimacy is eternal. After our lives in this world and our bodies die we will be given a new body. Yet, where our bodies and souls will go for eternity depends on how we have lived the message of conversion and repentance that Our Lord has come to give.

This Easter our Church has celebrated the Sacrament of Baptism for the initiation of new Christians into our Church. (And today at Mass we will celebrate some baptisms).
These new Christians and each one of us are baptized into the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In baptism, we become one body and one spirit in the Church of God which will come to its perfection at the end of time.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us make every effort to allow God to transform our hearts so that we can be found worthy to live in the new world that is to come. Let us persevere in the salvation that has been won through the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ so that we may be found worthy to attain eternal life. For, this world of sin and death is passing away and a new world is coming into light. What is not of God’s Kingdom will be thrown into fire and burned. But what is holy, pure, True, and righteous will be raised up in glory in the Kingdom of God.

May God bless each one of us and keep us faithful until the end. Amen.

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