Easter Sunday 2020: Homily, Prayers of the Faithful, Bulletin Column and Art

Version 3

“The Resurrection of Christ” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC 2019

 

 

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Easter Sunday Morning 2020

Let us pray that our Universal Church may radiate joy in our fragile world this day, that we may offer hope and inspiration through prayer, poetry, art and loving service to people who are fragile and worn down by society. We pray for people surviving isolation and illness during this period of COVID-19.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for people lost among grief and hardships among our families and neighborhoods. Help us all proclaim new life in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus’ compassion toward all people.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our own lives within the Catholic Church as we welcome our new members in joy who will be baptised, confirmed and received Holy Eucharist at a later date, and for those who will receive sacraments in the Easter Season or beyond.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for those who live without hope this Easter Day, for those trapped in ill health, unemployment and fragile marriages, that we may offer Easter hope to people in our families and those in need.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for all members of our parish community this day that we may be inspired by the Holy Spirit to pray more fervently and to serve others even beyond our expertise.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our beloved dead this Easter morning. For our loved ones and parishioners, that they may find their eternal home in the promise of the resurrection of Christ Jesus.

We pray to the Lord.

 

Bulletin Column:

Dear Believers in the Christ,

I never imagined I would say this to an empty church, “Happy Easter!” We are reading this on line and viewing recordings of Easter Mass. Some are watching live stream from churches across the globe. Some people are praying at home alone and others are praying with their children. Some people may have even forgotten that today is Easter. Our lives are incredibly different. The way we express our faith today is unprecedented.

Nevertheless, Easter is here! So, I still invite you into the most incredible miracle of faith. This is the core of our faith even though we are not together to proclaim a new, “Alleluia!” Please know of my concern for you in this fearful and uncertain time. News about COVID-19 changes every day. We will continue to communicate to you about the parish and our future together. Here is a reflection on today’s gospel.

We proclaim John 20:1-9 on this Easter morning. I love this gospel. Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb unsure about what just had happened to Jesus. Her inner turmoil kept her awake. She must have come to the tomb feeling empty. She was exhausted. Her inner loss and grief filled the night. I wonder how she found her way, stumbling on the path as the dawn cracked the sky.

Mary Magdalene was first to discover the empty tomb. History has not given her enough credit for this find, this spiritual encounter. She is called, “The Disciple to the Disciples”, for this very discovery and then telling the men. I can imagine she wiped the weariness from her eyes and still could not imagine such a finding. She panics. The emptiness filled her imagination about who took Jesus from the tomb. She needed another set of eyes to comprehend such an event.

Mary’s news to John and Peter caused alarm. They ran to verify the words of Mary. John arrived first to the place where Jesus was buried. John saw the cloths but could not bring himself to enter the tomb. His grief must have been overwhelming. Peter entered the tomb. He overcame his fear of what the tomb would reveal.

The tomb revealed the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head. Had someone moved the body, that cloth would still surround the head of Christ. Instead, it was rolled up, tucked in the corner of the tomb. It seems that Peter was still not making all of the connections. John saw the cloth and he believed. Something clicked in the heart of John. He knew Jesus had risen. He knew that through all of the turmoil, something new was happening.

Today, we are grateful for the lives of Mary Magdalene, Peter and John, for their willingness to enter the tomb. Their courage speaks to us today. Their inner turmoil gave way to centuries of hope for many people. Today, we celebrate that fear does not win. Today, we journey to the tombs that we have built from our own fear, discouragement and hopelessness. Jesus overwhelms the darkness with his light. Love has the last word.

We build our lives on Jesus’ resurrection. This is the core of our faith. We celebrate the resurrection at each Mass. This is the story we share at every Eucharist. I realize that so many areas of our human lives have yet to experience hope. Every day we are surrounded by grief at the death of a loved one. We lose hope as we face the dark issues of Church including sex crimes and infidelity. We find only discouragement when we do not live up to our potential or when we discover others have not lived up to their commitments. Life is really tough. Easter does not gloss over heartbreak. Easter invites us realize we share the crosses of life. As we encounter myriads of deaths, God is with us.

Our link to Easter is our second birth in baptism. We are born again in Jesus’ resurrection. God is among us. Hope is alive. Love pierces even our darkest pain. Our commitment to one another in baptism is the way in which we live out Easter morning. The virus has ruptured our common life. The Church and all of society will never be the same. Our life of worship will change in ways we still do not understand. Yet, our life together in baptism will challenge us to be prophetic witnesses of life and hope for many people. I wait in great hope this Easter morning that I will stand on the floor of Sacred Heart Church an preach an Easter message viewing your faces.

The white garment tucked away in the corner of the tomb is essentially the white garment given to us when we were baptized. We are clothed in glory, given a share in the hope of the empty tomb. We shall proclaim this message like prophets and bring people together like sages of the past. We shall witness our faith in good times and in bad. Alleluia!!

For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

 Peace to all people on this Easter Day,

Fr. Ron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Easter Sunday 2020: Homily, Prayers of the Faithful, Bulletin Column and Art

  1. Your painting of Christ has Risen is beautiful! And never before have I contemplated…connected the folded “garment” with our baptismal garment. Thank you for drawing our attention to that detail in today’s reading. Happy Easter Father Ron! love, Kelly, Margie and Luke McCarthy

  2. Beautiful words, Fr Ron! Happy Easter to you as well! Praying that you will be safe and well during these trying times.

  3. Thank you for your inspiring, beautiful words. We miss you and all our fellow parishioners. We will gather again in hope and love. Blessings.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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