Easter Sunday, Year B – Homily

Easter Sunday
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 (24)
Colossians 3:1-4
John 20:1-9
March 31, 2024

It fills my heart with joy to see the crowds at Mass on Easter.  What makes today special?  What draws people here?


Hope in what?

The tomb has been found empty!  This is a game changer, not just for a day but for our lifetime.  Does the news that the tomb was found empty change the way you live your life?

Whose tomb is it?

Jesus, the one they crucified.

Do you know what had happened all over Judea?

As Peter describes it, God had anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit.  “He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

This is good news.

How did the people respond?

Many came to faith but not everyone.  Some rejected Jesus and “put him to death by hanging him on a tree.

Really?  Then Jesus was defeated? 


In fact, they think they had him put to death when in fact He handed himself over to death.

Why?  To save us from our sins.

Jesus was not defeated in death.  His death brings victory over our sins.

His death was not the end.  Peter told the people, “This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible.”  Peter was one of those chosen to see Jesus risen.  Peter saw Jesus eat and drink after his death.  Jesus rose body and soul.  God will do the same for us if we follow Jesus as the way and the truth and the life.

In the stories of Jesus’ Passion in the gospel, we see how all that the prophets foretold was fulfilled in Jesus, including the end of the fourth Suffering Servant oracle read on Good Friday, “through his suffering my servant shall justify many.

Jesus has saved us from our sins.

This is the reason for our hope. 

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!

Does it all make sense?

Probably not.  It was no different for Mary of Magdala who was the first to go to Jesus’ tomb after his death.  “She saw the stone removed from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved” to tell them. 

In turn, they ran to the tomb.  As the first among the Apostles, Peter went in first.  Then, the other disciples went in “and he saw and believed.  For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.” 

He didn’t understand everything but he did believe.

You probably don’t understand everything you hear about and from God but do you believe?  Do you have faith?

They went to the tomb on the first day of the week.  It marked a new beginning for them.  Jesus’ Resurrection changed the way they, the way we look, at life.

How important is God to you?

Do you “Seek what is above”?

The fact that you are here indicates you are at least interested in “what is above.”  How important is it to you?

Paul tells the Colossians, “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.

Which do you spend more time thinking of?  Earthly things or “what is above”?

It’s not that we can just ignore earthly things.  We need food, water, clothing, and a place to live.  The question is how do we look at these things?  Are they your focus or is God? 

We need to take care of our bodies.  Jesus also calls us in the Corporal Works of Mercy to take care of others (see Matthew 25:31-46).  Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love our neighbor.  If we love our neighbor, we will do what we can to help them. 

Jesus Christ died for your sins.  “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.

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