Easter Monday Homily from Fr Wulstan
I am Fr Wulstan and on behalf of the monastic community welcome you to Mass this Easter Monday morning, a Mass we celebrate in the light of the Resurrection, giving glory and thanks to God for the gift of salvation offered us in Christ.
Brothers and sisters, knowing our need of God, let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Jesus Christ is alive, and in him we have our life. This is the message that Peter preached to the people on the day of Pentecost, as we heard in our first reading, drawing on the psalms to teach them that it was not David, but his descendant, Jesus, the promised Messiah, who, although dead and buried, did not experience the corruption of sin and death, but rose again, overcoming their power, to bring new life to us all.
In our baptism, with Christ we died to sin and rose again to new life. Thus, we share, even now, through Jesus in the life of God Himself, our reception of the sacraments and the opening of ourselves to God in prayer, allowing the Lord to draw us ever closer to Himself, purifying our hearts in His love.
Jesus is our way to the Father - the Way, the Truth and the Life – our great High Priest of whom the Letter to the Hebrews speaks, who upon entering the Holy of Holies, offered himself as the sacrifice that brings us redemption and eternal life; and into whose hands we can, and should, entrust our whole lives in every aspect of them.
In today’s Gospel, the chief priests and the elders, with the cooperation of the soldiers, were prepared to perpetrate a fraud, to deny the reality of the resurrection – actually, to deny themselves God’s gift of forgiveness and transformation into new life. Our timidity in faith and our desire hold on to all sort of attachments which help to give meaning – or, at least, partial meaning – to our lives can also prevent us from receiving the Lord as we should. And, yet, we know that the resurrection means that our lives should be different.
The women went to the tomb early on the Sunday morning, expecting to find a body; but, they didn’t. Instead, they were met by angels who told them that Jesus had risen; and, then, on the way to tell the other disciples what they had seen and heard, they met the Risen Lord himself, whose message to them – and to us – was, ‘Do not be afraid.’ In the same way as their expectation and their lives were changed by an encounter with the Risen Christ, so too have we been changed by our sharing in the Paschal Mystery with its promise of a new, radically-transformed life, lived for and in God. What a remarkable thing has been done for us! If only we could grasp the real depth of the Lord’s love.
But, we have no need to be afraid, because in God ‘perfect love casts out fear.’ The resurrection is a sign that Jesus’ victory over sin and death is complete, and heralds the new life of Christians. Let us praise the Lord for this gift through which we can be brought to the vision of God Himself in Whom we find true freedom and the real fulfilment of our lives.
Let us pray for all those suffering in any way from the coronavirus pandemic, those who are helping them, and those striving to bring the crisis to an end: that they will find strength in the Risen Lord.
Lord in your mercy
Let us pray for the Church and for all Christians: that the celebration of Easter will bring in a renewal of faith, a deepening of hope and an increase of love, so that the light of the Resurrection may shine evermore brightly in the world.
Lord in your mercy
Let us pray in thanksgiving for all those who have joined by whatever means in the liturgies, prayer and reflections of this Easter Triduum: that they will experience in their lives the love and the freedom of the Risen Lord.
Lord in your mercy
And we ask the prayers of Mary, our Mother, who knew what it was to stand at the foot of the cross in silent suffering and also to rejoice in the new life of her Son’s Resurrection. Hail Mary…