Easter- 2016 ~ Luke 24:1-12 ~ At daybreak on the first day of the week, the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them (Moses & Elijah of Transfiguration?). They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” And they remembered his words. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James (Peter, John and James in Transfiguration); the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.
I am amazed and humbled that with two phenomenal preachers here at Queen of Peace, I was asked to preach today like a third string quarterback. O well, pray for me!
Jesus, we remember how you washed our feet. In his homily on Holy Thursday, Father Jeff helped us understand that it is you, Jesus, who consecrates and breaks the bread, feed our souls, baptizes and anoint us. You heal us so often even when we complain that we can’t find you.
Even though Jesus walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they didn’t recognize him because they were too caught up in their own terror, fear and anxieties.
Their hopes were not as big as God’s hopes and dreams for them. But Jesus was patient and asked the two to remember all the way to their dinner table. They celebrated and believed when he said the blessing and broke the bread. Another miracle of Easter is that the men finally believed the women.
Though we don’t always recognize Jesus present in our sufferings and distractions, we do believe he is with us at this moment and for all eternity. In fact, Jesus can’t imagine heaven without every one of us today! We have trouble accepting such a magnificent love. Too often, we seek the living one among the dead.
The living one is seeking us today.
Jesus, we celebrate the breaking of your body and the water and blood that flowed from your side. When we are terrorized by hatred, unfaithfulness and betrayal, you show us how to love. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” and “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Your sacrificial love is our only hope to end all wars, hatred and fear. Yes, it was a truly Good Friday.
Jesus, we celebrate how you eat and drink with us every time we come to Eucharist. “Lord, I am not worthy for you to enter into my body, but only say the Word, and my soul will be healed.
Here a million wounded souls, are yearning just to touch you and be healed.Gather all your people, and hold them to your heart.
We remember how You loved us to the end.
And still we celebrate, for you are with us here;
and we believe that we will see you when you come in glory, Lord.
We remember. We Celebrate. We believe. (Song by Marty Haugen, 1980)
The key to Easter is that God loves us and wants to spend time with all of us. (Lots of time and for all of eternity).
It isn’t so much that we are seeking God, but God is seeking us.
It is through the birthing pains of our faith, the way of the Cross, that we understand this. When we encounter the empty tombs, keep searching. We must seek more diligently than the kids who will be seeking those Easter eggs in a few minutes, which might seem like hours to them. It is not an easy task, but with love of God and one another in our hearts… Jesus walks with us this Easter Morning today… even before we find him or recognize Him. He is alive with us… TODAY!
We remember his words.
We celebrate his love and mercy.
We believe how much God loves all of us… no exceptions.
He is Risen! Halleluiah!
Let us raise our voices with Father Kaz.
Discover the Risen Christ, the Beloved, as we sing our Easter Joy with Hallelujahs…