My brothers and sisters in Christ!1
Happy Easter to you all!
Today is a day of joy for the universal Church as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We gather this morning here at our Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for this beautiful celebration.
And we are sharing this Easter, not only with our own families — but also with Catholics in every country all across the world. We are all united as one family of God today in sharing the joy of Easter.
Being Catholic is a living reality. These beautiful tapestries that we have here on the walls of our Cathedral are all the saints and missionaries and martyrs throughout the centuries — they are our “family.” Brothers and sisters who have come before us, sharing the same love, the same faith in God!
So we gather this morning, in communion with all those gathered around the world to celebrate the great truth — that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our brother, has risen from the dead!
And I think especially today we need to pray for peace in the world. Pope Francis is asking us to do, so let us especially keep that intention in our hearts.
In our Gospel reading this morning, we heard the story of what happened on that first Easter Sunday morning.
We heard how Mary Magdalene “came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark and saw the stone removed from the tomb.”
She was surprised. And then she ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple.
She told them what she saw, so the disciples also went running to the tomb. Then, as Mary Magdalen saw, they also discovered that there was something missing.
Jesus was not there.
And we hear Mary Magdalene say, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they put him.”
My brothers and sisters, Jesus is not there anymore. But what is the first thing that Mary Magdalene saw when she came to the tomb?
The first thing she saw was that the large stone that had been covering the door of the tomb was now rolled away and the door to the tomb was open.
This is the sign of the Resurrection. The empty tomb. The stone rolled away.
This was the sign for the first disciples. But my dear brothers and sisters, it is also a sign for us. Because by his Resurrection, Jesus takes away every “stone” in our own lives. Every stone that blocks us from God.
We all have these challenges in life, these obstacles, these difficulties and complications in our lives. All our weaknesses and our sins, but also our worries, our doubts and our fears.
So whatever it is in our life that takes us away from God, today, on Easter Sunday morning, we know that Jesus Christ has rolled back the stone. He has risen from the dead by the power of his love.
We can be with him — he’s risen! He’s alive!
My brothers and sisters, the simple truth is this: God made us to know him and to love him and to live with him in love forever. He made us to share in his divine life. That’s why Jesus came to share in our human life.
And that’s the message that we hear today from St. Paul in our second reading today:
You were raised with Christ …
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
Easter means that Jesus has broken the chains of sin and death. He has freed us to have a new life with Christ in God!
You know this year, in our Religious Education Congress — that we have every year, I was sharing with some of you yesterday — we have youth day. It’s a day when the youth come to celebrate their faith and this year, the theme of the day was “Talk Jesus With Me.” It’s part of a rap song.
“Talk Jesus With Me.” It’s beautiful. This is what life is all about. This is what Christianity is all about. “Talk Jesus with me.”
Here and now, we can share in a beautiful, intimate relationship with God. We can know God as our Father — as the one who loves us; as the one who saves us and calls us to belong to his family, his Church.
All we have to do, my brothers and sisters, is to believe! Just as the Apostles did on that Sunday morning. Believe in the power of his love. Believe that we can find forgiveness of sins in his name. And with the help of his grace, believe that we can set the goal of our life in trying to live as we believe!
Easter really gives meaning to our lives! And it also give us a mission.
“Talk Jesus With Me.”
Jesus is sending each one of us out into the world to continue his mission of mercy and love. He is calling us, as he called the apostles, to be his “witnesses” — witnesses of his Resurrection. Just as we heard in our first reading today.
Easter makes our whole lives a beautiful adventure, a life we are living with Christ in God. Following Jesus Christ as missionary disciples and helping people to discover the beauty of Jesus’ life, and that is our faith.
So my dear brothers and sisters, on this beautiful Easter morning, let us renew our faith in Jesus and our desire to be witnesses to his Resurrection!
May we take him as our guide. May we walk with him. May we follow his example. Then we will see the world like Jesus, with eyes of compassion and tenderness. When we walk with Jesus, we love as he loves. Serving others, especially the poor. Showing mercy and forgiveness. Working, my brothers and sisters, a place of life and peace.
So today, with Pope Francis, we especially pray for peace in the world. “May all men and women of good will,” as Pope Francis said this morning, “hear the consoling voice of the Lord Jesus, ‘peace to you.’”
And may Mary, our Blessed Mother — who was also there rejoicing in the Resurrection of her Son — continue to intercede for all of you and your families. And may she help all of us to know the joy of Easter and the love and peace of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.
And remember: Talk Jesus With Me.
1. Readings (Easter Sunday, Year B): Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Ps. 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Col. 3:1-4; John 20:1-9.