Happy Easter! Jesus Christ is truly Risen!

Enjoy the Easter Homily from the Vigil last night. The video is at the bottom with homily beginning around the 1:47:00 mark. I hope to post some pictures later today.


This indeed is a holy night! The holiest of the year! Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead.

After the Easter Fire is processed into the Chruch with the Easter Candle, we hear the ancient Exultet:

To rejoice and be glad at our Might King’s Triumph and the gift of our salvation. The Risen Jesus in his life and power:

Dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty! (Exultet)

Who is not aware of these realities at work in both our own personal life as well as in the world? And yet, how comforting is our faith in the Risen Jesus as we face these realities repeatedly in our human history, knowing the ultimate battle is won in Christ. He is our unmerited reward and salvation.

In the Gospel tonight, we hear the angel from the empty tomb tell the women:

Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where thy laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you. (Mark 16:1-7)

As we read on in this Gospel, we learn that when the women shared this great news with the disciples, they did not believe. But, they did go to Galilee. 

My friends, are we all not Jesus’ disciples? We, too must hear these words to go to Galilee where the Risen Lord will meet us, especially with our doubts.

In Matthew’s Gospel, when the disciples encounter the Risen Lord in Galilee, it says ‘they worshipped, but they doubted.” (Matthew 28: 17) I would have to imagine their journey from Jerusalem to Galilee was much as the one described in Luke’s Gospel (Chapter 24) of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were dejected, discourage, and probably also still fearful for their own lives, having witnessed what happened to Jesus. This was no doubt a disturbing journey for them.

What is one of those troubling ‘journeys’ in my life? In your life? This perhaps is ‘our Galilee’ where the Risen Jesus promises that he has already gone ahead and awaits us there. What is that painful part of my life, whether physical, spiritual, emotional, sexual? Are there unmet hopes? Disappointing failures? Broken dreams or relationships? Broken trust? Perhaps that ‘one thing’ that keeps ‘dogging me’ through life?

Yes, we are here tonight (more than likely) because we already believe in the Risen Lord. And yet, I still have my journey to make to Galilee – and perhaps this is not my first trip there! 

I was thinking just the other day: “Why am I constantly seeking balance in my life?” Just when I think I’ve achieved it, something ‘shifts’ or another reality is added, and the balancing act begins again. Additionally, all Lent, I’ve been struggling to remain with Jesus in the midst of so many demands, and my own sinfulness. But it is precisely in these moments of our lives that the Risen Lord is already present, as our strength and hope, and when necessary, which is most of the time, the mercy of God who renews us each day.

Just over 14 years ago, I received a phone call from the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi. He was calling to tell me the Holy Father had named me a bishop. But before he got to that important message, he began by telling me:

I have just returned from the Holy Land, where I spent some time walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, thinking of Jesus and his disciples, how he called them to follow him. When you were ordained, you promised to follow Jesus, wherever he leads. …

My friends, we are those disciples walking with the Lord today. When the disciples arrived in Galilee, it was not so much ‘what’ they discovered, but more importantly, Who they encountered there: the Risen Jesus. There, their faith was strengthened that truly, Jesus had been raised from the dead as he promised. From that time on, they were capable of credibly proclaiming the Risen One to the world, because it was the power of the Risen Christ at work in them – through their faith. They may have continued to doubt, but the doubts from that point on would be in themselves, not in the Resurrection! Not in the Risen Jesus!

Let us hear the invitation extended by the women to go to Galilee where the Risen Jesus awaits us. Whatever our desolate journey may be, the Risen One awaits, with love, with mercy, with power. He is already there, and He is faithful and True.

Happy Easter!