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Nativity of Our Lord

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Easter Sunday homily

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordMarch 31, 2024

The correct answer is not always the right answer. I repeat, the correct answer is not always the right answer.

When one considers the events of the last 3 days, the 3 days we call the Holy Triduum, there is much that happened that doesn’t seem to be correct. 

Take Holy Thursday, for starters. That night we celebrated the Mass of the Last Supper.  Two things that Jesus did at the Last Supper stand out.  First, the meal itself.  It was a Passover meal, but it became way more than that.  For at that meal, Jesus took some bread and some wine, He blessed them and then said, this is my body, this is my blood.  Take and eat and drink it. And do this again and again in memory of me.  What?  That bread, that wine is now His body and blood?  That’s not just incorrect, in fact, that’s crazy. But Jesus says, “No, it’s true, it’s right”.  And we believe it. We know it.  So, we keep on doing it again and again in every mass.

A bit later Jesus then got down on His knees and washed the feet of His apostles.  But He is their Teacher, He is their Lord – He shouldn’t be doing it to them, they should be doing it to Him!  And Peter tells Him so.  For most people, Peter is correct. When you’re the big shot, people should be catering to you.  With great responsibility should come some nice perks.  But to that Jesus said, “That’s not right.”  For He reminds us  – especially if you are in any position of leadership – your role in this life is to serve others – no matter who, no matter what. 

On Good Friday, we commemorated the story of the Passion and Death of Jesus.  If you want to talk about a non-correct story – this is it.  That the long- expected Messiah, the Son of God, would be subjected to a death – and not just any death, but one that was so horrible.  And throughout the gospels Jesus frequently said that He needed to do so, to give His life as a ransom for many to save us from our sins.  What – He must die to save us?  It’s no surprise then that St. Paul said that in his 1st letter to the Corinthians that to most of the Greeks and Jews he encountered, Jesus’ death on the cross was not only incorrect, but sheer madness. 

For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. 1 Cor. 1: 22-25.

St. Paul also wrote: For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1: 18)

For us who believe, Jesus’ death on the cross was oh so right. 

Finally, the events we celebrate this Easter Sunday – the resurrection of Jesus.  Some religions speak of incarnation after one dies – but there is nothing that speaks of someone who will die and in 3 days rise again.  And not only would He rise and come back to life, He came back in a new way.  Jesus still bore the marks on his hands and feet, but with the horrors of His death, one would think that a major rehab would be needed.  But no.  We read in the many post-resurrection stories He went about His business with no issues.  He is the same, but He’s also changed.  All this doesn’t make sense, many would say it can’t be correct.  But it was right.

Let’s now consider what His resurrection means for you and me.  For us, the greatest human fear – death – now took on a new dimension.  Yes, when you and I die, we are going to be dead a long, long time, but death will not have the final say in our lives.  For we believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection is shared with us!  Because of what Jesus did, there is now the possibility of eternal life - with God, with our family members and friends, with the saints, with all people of all time – together – forever!  No wonder St. Paul provocatively taunted death with his famous line in 1 Corinthians 15:15, “O death where is your victory, O death where is your sting?” For we who believe, the reality of our death is no longer scary – for we believe life changes, it does not end, when we die. 

Remember what I said at the start?  The correct answer is not always the right answer.  And today, we Christians gather in churches throughout the world affirming this truth – that at the beginning of our life, at the end of our life and in all that happens in between, Jesus Christ is always, always, the right answer.   To which we say, "Alleluia!"