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Easter Sermon

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, `I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her

The Sermon

He is risen. He is risen indeed! Hallelujah! Yes we can say hallelujah again. What does Easter mean for us today? I remember as a child looking forward to this day, almost longing for it. We went to mass every day of lent and twice on Saturday's so I must admit that I was more looking forward to the end of lent on a truly superficial level.

I have changed. I truly look forward to Easter for all the right reasons. He is resurrected. The gospel reading brings it all home to me. Mary found an empty tomb and she wept because he was not there. She was already grief stricken but now there was the added pain that she could not properly honor this god/man whom she loved.  Imagine Mary Magdalene’s joy at finally seeing her lord and discovering he had risen from the dead.

Jesus was resurrected. He did not simply become reanimated as had happened with Lazarus, he had changed. His God nature was fully present. As we will hear later on upcoming Sundays, Jesus was not restricted by bodily constraints. He could choose or not choose to let people recognize his presence. He could appear and disappear at will. He could walk through walls. And yet he could sit down and eat dinner with his followers. He could have those who were in doubt physically touch his wounds. Jesus' God nature was fully present. There was no doubt who he was.

Blessed are those who have not seen these wonderful events and still believe. That brothers and sisters is you and me. I believe there is something inside of us that allows us, inspires us, to believe that Jesus Christ lived on this earth two thousand years ago. That he suffered death and was resurrected. And all of this happened because of his love for you and me.

Let us remember Christ's love for us every day for the rest of our lives. Jesus final commandment to us was to love one another as he has loved us and may we be ever mindful of his love and may we be living examples of this commandment.


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