April 5, 2015 – Year B
Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Psalm 118; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
On Easter Sunday last year, in this same pulpit, in this same church of the Holy Name of Mary, Deacon Ray gave a homily about the Joy of the Resurrection. For those of you who were not here last year, I highly encourage you to read his inspiring homily at our Holy Name of Mary website. Preaching about Christ’s Resurrection he said “Death being conquered frees us to live and love with the knowledge that whatever happens, life and love extend beyond the grave.”
I had the rare privilege of listening to Deacon Ray’s wisdom not only during our breakfasts at Coffee Cup, but during the last few days of his life here on earth. For our visitors who didn’t have the opportunity to know Deacon Ray, our beloved Deacon was born into life eternal a few months ago. We all believe – our faith tells us – that he is now in the company of our risen Lord. When I asked what gave him the strength and courage not only to bear physical pain during the time of his illness but also to embrace death itself, his answer was pretty simple and straight forward. He said it was his faith in the risen Lord and in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. John Paul II once said that we are a Resurrection people and Alleluia is our song. This is indeed the joyful message of Easter. It means we aren’t supposed to be buried in the tomb of despair, discouragement or doubts. By virtue of our baptism we are expected to live joyful and peaceful lives, constantly experiencing the presence of the resurrected Lord in all the events of our lives, even in the midst of boredom, suffering, pain and impatience, because in the light of the resurrection we are able to see our problems in their proper perspective.
Tony Compollo once said that if we are too serious with our lives so that every little disturbance bothers us, we should remember this: when we die, after our casket has been lowered into the grave and covered, our relatives and friends will be telling jokes about us while eating potato salad.
Every morning when I wake up at Holy Name of Mary rectory I love watching the birds in the backyard. Underneath the birdbath is a stone with the inscription “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. And it is all “small stuff”.
In a few minutes we will renew our baptismal promises. Our Holy Mother Church would like to remind us that as baptized Christians we are not ordinary mortals, we are not bothered with the small stuff, we are sons and daughters of God the Creator of Heaven and earth, we are brothers and sisters of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we are heirs to God’s kingdom. Yes, just like everyone else we will have problems and difficulties, but with the help of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we will have the power and the strength to convert what seem to be stumbling blocks into stepping stones on our journey toward God’s eternal kingdom, and we will continue to look up and move forward.
In today’s second reading which is taken from the letter of St. Paul’s to the Colossians, the apostle said “Brothers and sisters: if then you were raised with Christ, think of what is above not of what is on earth. For when Christ your life appears you too will appear with him in glory.”