I Have Seen the Lord!

I Have Seen the Lord!

April 1, 2018 | N W | Courage, Easter, Faith, Father Salvador, Joy, Prayer, Resurrection, St. John, Strength

Easter Sunday
April 1, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Acts 10:34A, 37-43 / Ps 118 / Col 3:1-4 / Jn 20:1-9
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

It has been said that the greatest honor that others can give you is to imitate what you are doing and choose to believe what you believe.  Last night during the Easter Vigil, our family here at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church received the honor of welcoming five new members into our church as they received the Sacrament of Initiation.  It was a glorious night, even attended by Christians from other traditions.  All the angels and saints were certainly rejoicing, but Satan was not.

As always, when we try to get close to God through prayer, Satan tries to distract us.  I have been asked this question more than a thousand times: “Father, how can I get rid of distraction when I pray?”

I only have one answer:  If you don’t like distraction, don’t pray.  Once you start praying, you will surely have distraction.

I wasn’t surprised, then, when Deacon Eddie told me after the Mass last night that, while he was chanting the Exsultet, which is one of the highlights of the Vigil, there was an insect creeping behind his neck.   That’s an ancient trick of the enemy.  But the Exsultet, which has been a part of the Easter Vigil for more than a thousand years, went beautifully.  The whole Vigil was indeed something that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

In the gospel of John that we just heard, the evangelist related to us that during that first Easter Sunday, while it was still dark, Mary of Magdala went to visit the tomb of Jesus.  She was clearly more courageous than the men, who were still sleeping, or hiding, or both at that time.  She went there, not expecting to see an empty tomb, nor eventually to see that Jesus rose from the dead.  She went there just to honor Our Lord’s dead body, because she loved Him.

We now know the rest of the story:  She got something more.  The gospel we heard stopped at the ninth verse of the twentieth chapter of the Gospel of John, but if you continue reading, which I hope and pray you will, God’s words tell us the reason Jesus appeared in person to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb.  He even spoke to her, so that she eventually went and announced to the rest of the disciples the good news, telling them, “I have seen the Lord!”

That was the most powerful sermon that any preacher could ever give:  I have seen the Lord!

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all here inside the sanctuary of Holy Name of Mary to attend a celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, because, just like Mary Magdalene, we also love Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  In return, he speaks to us through His words in the sacred scriptures.  In a few minutes we will see Him in the form of bread and wine and will have the greatest privilege we can ever have in this world:  to receive Our Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion.