April 9, 2023
Easter Sunday – Where is the power of His Resurrection today? Is today’s feast just a brief escape from our grim reality?
- Like a lightning bolt, His Resurrection reveals reality.
- It begins the Triumph of His Divine Mercy.
- No one lived His Passion as painfully as His Mother.
- She helps us understand our times in His Light.
- Two passages from the book of the Marian Movement of Priests give hope for today.
This is a computer-generated transcription that has been included to make the homily searchable. It has not been verified by the author.
I remember the purpose of my Homily is so you can take a little nap right now. So, I’ll just drudge on and on. “Exalt let them exalt the host of heaven. Exalt let the angel ministers of God exalt. Let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty king’s triumph. Be glad Let the earth be glad as glory floods her, a blaze with light from her eternal King, that all corners of the earth be glad, knowing and end to gloom and darkness. Rejoice let Mother Church also rejoice, arrayed with the lightning of His glory. Let this holy building shake with joy, filled with mighty voices of the peoples. The sanctifying power of this night, dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.” Those are the words we heard in the famous exalted proclamation that was chanted at the beginning of Mass on this Easter day. Beautiful dramatic words. But maybe we look around at our world and ask, but where is all that? Where is all that victory? Where’s all that glory of the Lord? A lot of times our world seems very different. And so, is Easter that we celebrate this morning, is it just a temporary escape from reality, a morning in which we pretend that everything is nice and pretty, like a beautiful spring morning, and then go back to the harsh reality of our world? Nobody knows how harsh our world can be, as well as Jesus Christ. That’s what we’ve been living these past few days, and His crucifixion, where He took upon Himself and His own flesh in His own heart, all the pain of evil and suffering in this world. So, what we’ve been celebrating these days is not an escape from reality, but rather, this Easter celebration is a revelation of reality, or revelation of the deepest reality. Like a lightning bolt on a dark night that reveals, even for an instant, what is really there. But what we often can’t see that there’s a greater reality, still often hidden from us, that only gradually begins to penetrate into our hearts, and gradually begins to transform our world. And in these times that we’re living, these difficult times that we’re living, the Lord has given us special light, the light of Divine Mercy. And obviously, that’s very important here at this Mission of Divine Mercy, but not just here, of course, here at this mission, but the Lord wanted to show us in very clear ways, how much the resurrection and Divine Mercy are united. And in the great image of Divine Mercy that we have, it’s the image of the risen Lord, His wounds are visible in His hands and feet, and the rays are coming from His wounded heart. So, it’s the Lord who has been crucified, but has now risen victorious. And so, whenever we see this image, we’re seeing the image which represents the risen Lord Jesus, who’s pouring out the rays of His mercy and then calling us to trust in Him. And when the Lord asked for this Feast of Divine Mercy, the Feast of Divine Mercy that St. John Paul instituted. And I asked people sometimes, why did St. John Paul, choose the first Sunday or the second Sunday of Easter for this feast, of the Divine Mercy? And the answer is very clear. It’s that’s what the Lord asked of St. Faustina. It’s the Lord Himself, who chose that day. So, we need to make very clear how much Divine Mercy flows from this grace of Easter. And in fact, the novena of Divine Mercy begins on Good Friday, and follows through Easter leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday, so linking all this – all the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord with Divine Mercy. Because the resurrection of Jesus, His resurrection, and then His apparitions, the gospel shows His apparition to the disciples, first of all the women disciples. Actually St. John Paul says that even though it’s not recorded in the gospel, that certainly the Lord must have appeared, first of all, to His mother, and then the women disciples who had been more faithful than the apostles, and finally, to the apostles and many others. And those begin, with the resurrection and His and those apparitions are like the beginning of this second coming, this long, gradual process of His second coming, of His transformation of the world, which is ongoing right now, and which will conclude in His final coming. And so, the Divine Mercy, the revelations of Divine Mercy that we’ve been given, and the Feast of Divine Mercy was proclaimed right at the beginning of this new millennium, which St. John Paul has seen as so significant, as a sign that we’re living a new stage, and the second coming of the Lord. Jesus says to Saint Faustina, “in spite of satan’s anger, the Divine Mercy will triumph over the whole world, and will be worshipped by all souls.” So, these revelations that were for our time, are preparing the triumph of Divine Mercy in spite of satan’s anger. And so, for the times that we’re living, what we’ve been living the paschal mystery of the passage of Jesus from His suffering and death, to His resurrection is the great light that we need for our time, to give us understanding, to help us understand what’s going on in a world today. And not just give us understanding that they give us the grace, that at the help the spiritual help in the hope, divine hope that we need. As we are suffering today, many are tempted to despair, listening to people, especially in the confessional, I hear that a lot, the temptation to despair, because of what we see happening, what we experience. But that’s why these days we’ve been so important because they’re showing us from that darkness, that darkness is not preparing the triumph of satan. What might seem like the triumph of satan is actually preparing the great victory of our Lord’s love and mercy. And to help us in this struggle, and that’s what we what we focus on, especially yesterday, the Lord on the cross, before He died, gave to John and gave to each of us the gift of His mother. And as I was saying, this Good Friday, that as the saints have said it during that time of His death and being buried in the sepulcher, it was as if all the faith and all the hope of the Church were shaken, so many of the apostles perhaps even was very shaken, even their faith was terribly shaken. It’s like the all the faith and hope of the Church took refuge in the heart of our Blessed Mother. No one had experienced more than she, the suffering of Jesus, and the pain in the darkness that that caused. And yet she was the one who was able to continue, in spite of the attacks of satan, strong in her faith, sure in her woe, struggling and faithful. And she is given to us to be our mother, to help strengthen us, and help us make it through these times. What would she want to tell us today, at this year 2023? I want to share two meditations from the Marian movement of priests, the Marian movement of priests, which was so, so dear to Saint John Paul. And those of you who know our little mission, know that prophecy is very important. And our mission realized in a prophecy is not just something that happened a long time ago, the prophecy of God continues, as St. Thomas said, to give prophetic graces at all ages of the Church, and especially in difficult age, just like the one we’re living in. So, I think that the messages in that little book of the meditations are prophetic words, to help us understand our times, not in a human light, but in a divine light. A light filled with the light of Scripture that helps us be realistic about evil, not pretending everything is rosy being real, no one again, is more realistic than Jesus. But that realism also leads us to the greatest realism, which gives us divine hope. And so, I want to read you two passages. One is from taking an extract from a message which was given in 1990, on this feast of Easter. “May your hearts be filled with joy and with peace, beloved children, on this Easter day, my son Jesus, despised and salted, scourged, condemned, and put the death on the cross, today rises from the dead, through the power of His divinity, and in the splendor of His glorified body. By the divine power of this, His new and glorious birth, the shadow of the sepulcher is changed, and the most powerful light, the sealed, the heavy sealed stone, is removed by a sudden earthquake. The guards who are sent to keep watch are struck down unconscious by a limitless power, the angels bow down and adoration at his luminous passage surrounding nature.” And we’re fortunate to have a beautiful nature here at this chapel. “Surrounding nature sings for joy, quivering through and through with a renewed life. Christ risen, comes forth from the grave, and the divine splendor of His glorified body. This is the Pasch of resurrection.” But we’re not familiar with that expression that Pasch of His resurrection. It’s spelled P A S. C. H, the pasch which references the Jewish Passover, and our Christian feast of Easter. “That is the great Pascal mystery of the passage from suffering and death to resurrection, and glory. “This is the beginning of the new humanity, redeemed and taken in conquest by Him. This is the dawn of His new reign.” It’s very fitting that we celebrate because we’re celebrating this Mass right at the beginning of the day at dawn, because that’s when Jesus rose and there’s a real sign. “This is the dawn of His reign. This is the first day of His royal triumph. The eighth day represents the first day of a new beginning, the day of His world triumph.” So that’s the first passage and the second passage is from Easter in 1993. So, the first was talking about how the resurrection was the beginning of His triumph, of His reign, of His conquest. And the second passage begins, “Jesus is alive. Jesus is holy. Jesus is immortal, Jesus is God.” In a world, the world we live in today, which tries to diminish and destroy faith in Jesus, we gather today to proclaim, Jesus is risen. Jesus is God. “The triumph of Divine Mercy is accomplished over satan, and all his wicked spirits, because this day marks the moment of their greatest defeat.” And then she speaks of what we’re living today. “Do not let the hour of a new gethsemane through which humanity is now living, make you sad.” So, speaking of a new gethsemane, humanity living a new gethsemane, that is a new agony. “Do not be discouraged if evil has the upper hand in our world today.” So not saying, again, that everything is going great. The evil often seems to be stronger today. “Do not be alarmed if satan has reached the summit of his diabolical reign. Humanity is now aligned in its sepulcher, of death, of sin, of impurity.” So, comparing this time to gethsemane, and also comparing it to being in the sepulcher, a sepulcher of death, of sin, and of impurity, “rent asunder by the impetuous wind of violence and hatred.” So, I want to pause for a moment just at that passage, because it’s pretty mysterious. She’s speaking of the general situation, what each person lives is different. Each person is living something different. Even when Jesus was dying on the cross, even as Christians had different experiences, friends, and some were not at Jerusalem. And so, they weren’t aware, and they weren’t living it the same way. And so today, each person is living different things, and some people can be living to great joys and consolation. But I think this is referring to the general situation, of the spiritual situation of what Christians are living. And I can tell you that for us, that our little, poor little community of MDM, we sense this very much, this gethsemane, this sepulcher of that many, much of our humanity, much of the Church is living today. And that’s why so many people are suffering so much and are so discouraged, and even despairing, and so many people have lost faith, have lost hope. How many people do we know who have lost their Catholic faith? So many today. And it just seems to be increased. I’ve shared that statistic that for every one person, I don’t know if this is just the United States, I think, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the United States. But for every one person was entering the Church, six persons were leaving. So tragic statistics. So we have to again, be realistic, but what but these words are also actually are very hopeful when she speaks of living a new gethsemane and a new sepulcher, because the agony of gethsemane the darkness and coldness of the sepulcher, were not the end. They seem like the end, they look like the end, they felt like the end. Humanly it seemed like the end. But they were actually the mysterious preparation for the great new beginning. And that’s, I think, the great light for our time. We need to look at this paschal mystery just to understand what we are living today, to get so many that so many are living today, the sepulcher that so many are living today. But when we understand that we understand that that’s also preparing the triumph of His Divine Mercy. “Soon, it too will come forth from this, it’s immense sepulcher to live that passage of the new times when Jesus will return in glory, to restore His kingdom of love and of life.” And that’s another mysterious passage and I think as we have often spoken about, but I think it just very briefly that what that means is that it’s not the end. It’s not the final coming of Jesus. But this is a time of Jesus coming through the mystery of grace and a great renewal of holiness for the Church. Jesus coming, especially through a renewed faith in His Eucharistic presence. (Think I’m missing a page; I’ll have to make something up.) “Prepare yourselves to live the past of the new times. It is the past prepared for you”. So, in this Easter that the Lord has gathered us in, in this Easter of 2023, with all that each one of us are living and struggling with our Blessed Mother is given to us to strengthen our faith and our hope in the Lord’s infinite Divine Mercy and His triumph. And so, we offer to Him our suffering for all those who are suffering today, for all those who are most in need of His mercy today, that the light of the Easter triumph of Jesus, the light of the risen Lord of Mercy, which penetrates into our hearts. Jesus, we trust in You. Amen. Hallelujah.
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