First Sunday of Easter 2016


“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up
with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and
not faint.”

It’s the vigil of the resurrection. Although we recall the events of that
first Easter Sunday well after the fact,  our celebration tonight is one of
anticipation. We are waiting. And our wait is done in solidarity with at
least one person in the original story. And that would of course been the
Blessed mother.
Where there others? Mary Magdalene perhaps John the beloved disciple?
Jesus after all had told them. Mary knew from the beginning. She knew who
her son was, and she knew scripture which spoke of a suffering servant.

But the disciples had been told more than once of the plan of God. The plan
of the son. being handed over to the Jews betrayed tortured crucified but
rising on the third day.

But regardless of that I think their hopes were definitively dashed at 3
o’clock on that Good Friday and so, again, with the exception of Mary, I
think that very few were actually waiting in the hope, for something special
to happen.

But it did happen. In a hidden moment before dawn on that first Easter
Sunday Jesus opened his eyes rose from the dead step forth from the tomb and
all things were made new. The world was changed forever.
Through the suffering death and resurrection God was reconciled with men and
a new world would begin. The gospel message would spread are Across our
planet and people would be offered the possibility of eternal life.
Now for us who look back upon this story we wonder about all of the
implications for us in our own lives.
Well as I said in the opening lines of my homily which incidentally was a
passage from Isaiah, the concept of waiting is found throughout all of both
the old and New Testament. Waiting in silence, waiting in  hope, sometimes
against all odds,  that God’s promises will be fulfilled in our lives. That
prayers will be answered. Happiness restored and our joy made full.
We know there has always been much sadness in the world and that prayers
don’t always get answered, nevertheless it seems to me, that hope is
essential and waiting it seems is part of the equation.
Waiting is difficult. And we can always expect to be tempted to give up hope
to throw in the towel to give up. We know that many have. It would seem that
in our present world situation, people are on the verge of giving up hope of
despairing that there could be a better day ahead.
This is true in the small things of life and it’s also true of the big
things, worldwide things.

That we’ve been very blessed in many ways here at Holy Spirit and yet I
think they were also waiting for certain things to improve. There’s an
elephant in the living room here this very night. It’s the very fact that we
don’t have any catechumens or candidates. Nobody has come into our church
for a couple years now. I wonder why? We are faithful. We do pray. We have
adoration chapel here at the back of the church and in there is a list of
intentions in which adorers are invited to pray together. The list is
specifically for intentions related to our church life here at Holy Spirit.
One prayer is for more participants in our RCI A program.
We pray for vocations. But we only have one currently.
We built the new school and are struggling to fill up our seats to capacity.
We pray for more people in our pews.

In all of these areas it seems as if our prayers have not been answered. And
we scratch our heads what should we do? Start a new program? Spend more time
money and effort on advertising or marketing?

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