My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and especially my dear elect:1
This is the night — this is the truly blessed night. The night of the Resurrection! The night when the light of Christ, shines in the darkness of the world, and in the darkness of our lives.
These readings tonight tell us the history of the world — from the first days of creation to the new creation that begins when Jesus rises from the dead.
These readings tell a beautiful story. A love story. It is the story of God and his people, his desire to establish his Kingdom of love on earth.
And as we hear these readings, we realize tonight that our lives have a deeper meaning. We are a part of a bigger story. And our lives are caught up in the great history of salvation. The story of the family of God.
Tonight we contemplate the beautiful truth that God is our Father. This whole world — everything we see, every person, all of creation speaks to us of the love of God.
And my dear elect, tonight in this beautiful house of God, each of you is ready now to join your lives to this great story of salvation, this great story of God’s love.
The empty tomb is the “final proof” of God’s love for us. Because he has suffered for us and died for us, because he has rose from the dead for us — we can certainly be sure of God’s love for each one of us. For it is true — he will never abandon us.
So on this Easter night, my brothers and sisters, we need to let the light from that empty tomb fill our lives with joy, with true hope.
We need to let those words that the angel spoke to those first disciples touch our hearts.
Do not be afraid!
I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
Our God is not God of the dead! He is God of the living! He is the living God!2
That means he is alive — he is God who is with us. This is real, it is true. And it is personal. You can build your life upon this solid rock that God is walking now with you and with me. That he is a part of our lives.
We really need to live with this confidence — with this certainty — that God is with us.
So my brothers and sisters, heaven for us begins right here on earth. Right here at this empty tomb of Jesus.
His tomb is like a doorway, a gateway. All we need to do is walk through it — and our lives will begin again, like those first disciples. So let us go out from this empty tomb tonight. With joy!
Because when we walk with joy in the Resurrection, we meet Jesus along the way — just as those first disciples did.
We heard the story in the Gospel tonight:
Then they went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
Joy — real joy — is knowing that God loves us. And we really find joy when we find Jesus in our lives.
Joy is knowing that God loves us, as I said. And we find joy when we find Jesus in our lives. We can live with this joy every day, in every moment. And we should! This is what God wants for us!
So let us walk with Jesus. He is alive! Ask him for directions! Put your life in God’s hands. We like to do that, don’t we? We need directions to go everywhere, especially in Los Angeles.
Just ask Jesus and he will take us to happiness as much as possible here on earth and then eternally in heaven.
And let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to accompany us along the road to heaven.
Happy Easter to all of you and I pray that this will be a time of love and sharing — and hope and joy for you and your families!