Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homily - "Resurrected in His love"

Click here to listen to Sunday's homily.

We had a great service trip to Appalachia over spring break.  Twenty of us worked hard during the day fixing up homes for low-income families, and then had tons of fun at night.  The day we had the most fun was our day off when we watched the coverage of the Pope’s election.  When we saw white smoke, we went nuts!  One night, I went into my room about 10:30 or so.  My room was right next to the main room.  I turned off my light and caught up on news and sports scores on my phone.  Everyone thought I was asleep.  So, when I came out about an hour later, I was like Lazarus coming out!  People were freaked out saying, “we thought you were asleep”.  I was like, “nah, I’m just getting started”. Imagine if I had been in my room with the light off for four days and people thought I was dead. That’s what it was like for the situation with Lazarus. 

Lazarus represents all of us – spiritually and physically.  We can be dead spiritually: our souls can die from mortal sin.  Also, we can be spiritually dead through despair or darkness or just a general lifelessness.  Confession can be a resurrection experience like the one Lazarus had.  One of our students wrote about this in our recent newsletter.  He writes about his experience of going to Confession this time last year for the first time in four years. “That confessional was transformed into the tomb of my lack of faith, my emptiness, and my drifting.  I walked out with Jesus at my side, resurrected in His love”.  The person walking out of Confession is like Lazarus walking out of the tomb.  You will have the opportunity for this before Easter.  For example, I will be offering confessions on Tuesday nights at the Newman Center before Easter. Please take advantage of the opportunity to experience this kind of death and resurrection before we formally celebrate the Death and Resurrection of Christ in Holy Week.

Lazarus represents us physically as well.  Our bodies will experience a resurrection.  Jesus says that if we live and believe in Him, we will be raised up on the last day.  At the “resurrection of the dead”, the final judgment, our bodies will reunite with our souls forever.  This will be as real as the resurrection of Lazarus’ body.  That is for the next life.  But, our bodies can be resurrected in this life, too.  I just saw a woman today who I hadn’t seen for a few years.  When I last saw her, her body was in terrible shape.  She had been beaten by her husband and kicked out of their house by him.  Today, she appeared out of the blue and looked great.  Her body was in much better shape and she was dressed impeccably.  She has had a resurrection experience.

The Gospel stories of the last three Sundays which are used for the Scrutinies of those coming into the Church at Easter tell us what it’s all about: Christ is our life.  For those like the woman at the well who are in slavery, Christ is our freedom.  For those like the man born blind who are in darkness, Christ is our light.  For those like Lazarus who are dead, Christ is our life.

Finally, the Eucharist is the risen Body and Blood of Christ.  The Spirit who raised the dead body of Lazarus also raised the dead body of Christ.  His Body was dead and has been raised.  We celebrate this at every Mass.  It is the same risen flesh and blood of Christ that came from the tomb.  Through the Eucharist, may we be raised up on the last day in the resurrection of the dead.


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