April 12, 2020
Easter Sunday A
Fr. Ed Smith
Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20: 1-9
Happy Easter! It is hard to believe that Lent is already over. For the past six weeks of Lent we have been preparing to say the great Easter word: “Alleluia!” It is almost as if for the past 40 days we have all been holding our breath until Easter so that we can shout out this great word of glory and praise to God. But why do Catholics not use the expression “Alleluia” during Lent in the first place? Why do we, when the Gospel is about to be proclaimed at Mass, sing instead: “Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory”? The answer is because, during Lent, we are more aware than ever that we are still on our journey to the kingdom of heaven. We are not there yet. And “Alleluia” (Praise God) is the proclamation of the angels and saints who already live in the presence of God. And, while we are certainly united with these blessed beings,
we are not quite there yet, and we all have more work to do to get there. But now Lent is over, and as we celebrate Easter, we can shout this word out loud, as we join with those in the heavenly choir who praise God every moment for His eternal goodness and love. And so, we sing and say this word today, and not during the past six weeks because we have been on a journey with Jesus, who was misunderstood, even hated, and endured condemnation, suffering, crucifixion and death. We have walked with Him through those dark times. And now He is risen from the dead and reveals that we are not destroyed by sin, suffering and death, but called to everlasting life. This celebration is the touchstone for everything else we do as a people of faith: our liturgies, our prayer, our education and our service to our brothers and sisters in need. The
resurrection of Jesus changes everything. The old idea that death has the final word over our lives is now shattered, as Jesus shines the light of eternal glory for us in the presence of Divine Love. So, it was worth 40 days of waiting to say such a rich and glorious word, knowing that, on Easter Sunday, it has so much more meaning, intensity and power for us. Thank you, my friends, for bringing this reality more alive for me this Easter. You have shown me, over and over, the power and glory of the Risen Jesus. Alleluia!