Homily 3rd Sunday of Easter 14th April 2024

Homily 3rd Sunday of Easter 14th April 2024

Familiarity, whether or not it breeds contempt, lessens wonder. And it is like this with Jesus’ resurrection. Why is it that so often Lent, the sorrowful season, is observed for 40 days while in popular practice Easter, the season of joy, is celebrated for only one day when the Church officially celebrates it for 50?

The self-discipline, fasting, almsgiving, and confessions of lent are supposed to lead to a special joy, thanksgiving, and celebrations of the Easter Season.

The Early Christians considered Eastertide, that’s the 50 days after Easter Sunday up to Pentecost Sunday, as the most important time in the calendar. Officially, the Church still does. From the earliest centuries of Christianity through to the recent past, it was the custom of many Christian Churches to have parties, picnics, and feasts to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

Perhaps one of the reasons for this is the lack of images to shape and motivate contemplation of the resurrection. Much of the artwork and symbols of Churches have focused of Jesus’ passion and crucifixion. Artists have tended to shy away from it.

Today’s readings show us that the Christian faith is first and foremost a response of belief to the person of the risen Christ as in today’s Gospel. This belief embraces the realisation that Jesus has won salvation for us by the sacrifice of the cross, as in Peter’s sermon. And, as the letter of St John reminds us, Jesus remains our advocate when we encounter the harsh reality of sin in our lives. Christ is alive. That fundamental truth is really the heart and soul of our worship and ethic.

Then in our pilgrimage of faith, the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives calls for a never-ending conversion of our innermost selves. We can help the process by keeping always the freshness of the joy and wonder of the first Easter.

Christ is alive. Christ is Risen. And Christ will come again.