Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of the Lord

5 April 2015

Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič

Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9

This glorious day is the most important feast of the liturgical year, for today we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This event is the foundation and cornerstone of our faith, which brought Jesus’ mission of salvation to completion.

Indeed, it is not enough for us to know that Jesus once lived on earth and that he died on a cross for all of mankind. There have been so many crosses in the history of mankind, far too much death and destruction, hence one more innocent victim in the world is not enough to make one believe in God. For this reason we need to know that he has risen, that he is alive, today, now, at this very moment in time and that he is accessible. The cross moves our hearts to believe in God’s love towards us, but it is belief in the resurrection of the Lord that brings us the assurance that the Lord is indeed alive and that we are never truly alone!

It may take time for us to come to this personal discovery of faith in the resurrection, but we should recall that the apostles and disciples also slowly came to realize that Jesus had risen from the dead. Mary of Magdalene came to the place where Jesus was buried only to find the tomb empty and she concluded: They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him. Peter and John then both ran to the tomb to see for themselves. Upon entering, the beloved apostle John, amidst all the confusion and doubt saw and he believed. The apostles’ progress to faith was gradual and measured. Only after their encounter with the risen Jesus and with the support of scripture would they begin to fully accept and understand the mystery of Easter.

Our spiritual journey has already begun with our baptism and our faith in the Lord is slowly increasing through the daily experiences of our lives. Today we are called to rise up, as Christ rose from the dead to a new way of living. Arise with renewed faith in the Lord to a life of love for God and all people. Don’t let the hardships of life overcome you, but let yourselves be overcome by the power of God’s love that has been given to us in Christ.

Accept with faith that you are loved by God, that he gave up his life for you and rose from the dead so you could have new life in him. Though our love towards God may be limited, though we may still have our questions and doubts, let us nevertheless go forth with faith and courage, with hope and love. Let us trust in God’s mercy, leading true Christian lives, living each day as a new encounter with our Lord and offering our lives and service to him in return, as a sign of our love and gratitude.

With Peter, John, Mary Magdalene and all who have gone before us in the faith, we continue on the spiritual pilgrimage toward Christ, who was dead but now lives forever.

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