Easter Sunday

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2016/03/27 at 12:00 AM

• On Holy Thursday night we remembered Christ as our great high priest as He instituted for us the inseparable gifts of the priesthood and the Eucharist, and as He showed us how to love one another through the humble acts of charity.
• On Good Friday we wept as our great high priest became our paschal lamb. Though priest, Christ incredibly became the innocent victim for our sins, dying a terrible and shameful death – for us and yet because of us.
• And today we celebrate Christ as our conqueror; we celebrate the fact that the Victim has become the Victor! And we, the sheep of His flock, get to share in the glory of His victory – even though we were cause of His victimhood.
• It is for this reason that, of all the great feasts Holy Mother Church celebrates, this feast: Easter – is the greatest of them all! For this is our feast of victory: victory over sin, victory over death, victory over the father of lies and all his minions.
• This is the day that our faith is confirmed, our hope is renewed, and our charity is enflamed!
• And all that remains for us now is to ensure that this victory be not hollow by falling again into the terrible bonds of sin and death, by falling back into our former ways of life.
• At the beginning of Lent, I mentioned that the great Cistercian abbot, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, once wrote that, “The capacity of any one’s soul is judged by the amount of love one possesses” (SBoC: Song of Songs, 27:10).
• His point was that, even though our souls are not material in nature, they have a spiritual capacity to expand or contract, and the more one practices the virtues – especially charity – the more the soul expands.
• And as the soul expands, the soul becomes a more spacious dwelling place for God, and consequently it takes on a greater likeness to God.
• Throughout the past 40 days of Lent, we have taken on the soul-expanding exercises of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. And in a particular way this Lent, I asked all of you on Ash Wednesday to make reparation for sin – our own and those of the whole world.
• When we make reparation for our sins, we cannot help but grow in charity, for doing so makes our relationship with God whole again – enabling us to love Him more fully.
• Our sins damage our relationship with God, and while our Lord so graciously forgives us whenever we ask for His forgiveness in the confessional, we must still make up for the injustice we have committed against Him by our sins.
• When we make reparation for the sins of others humbly and with a generous heart, our souls expand greatly – for by doing this, we imitate well our Lord, Who with love and generosity beyond compare, gave Himself up to suffering and death so that our sins might be forgiven.
• Now as we celebrate this magnificent feast of Easter, we must ask ourselves if we are willing to continue this soul-expanding pursuit of holiness that we began in Lent.
• Will we continue growing in virtue and self-mastery, or will our old selves prevail?
• My friends, let us not waste the grace that we have received these past 40 days, and let
us not waste the grace of Easter that we are now receiving! Instead let us allow the grace of Lent and Easter to continue transforming and sanctifying us!
• This process of personal transformation and sanctification began, though, not just with Lent, but with our baptism. And today is the day above all others when we should renew our commitment to living a life of holiness.
• In fact immediately after the homily, the Church includes a renewal of our baptismal promises as part of the Easter liturgy. And at that time we will all make the promise the renounce sin so as to live in the freedom of God’s children.
• We will renounce the lure of evil, and we will renounce satan himself. And we will reaffirm all the central tenets of our Catholic faith.
• But my dear friends in Christ, let us do so with integrity of heart and firmness of will. Now that Easter is here, we must not slip back into lives of sin and indifference.
• Let us celebrate with joy this feast of our salvation. Let us honor our Lord, Who is both Priest and Victim, for His great work of redemption, but let us do so by living a life of genuine holiness that increases the love we bear in our souls.
• May our Lord bless all of you abundantly this Easter season!

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

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