In my Easter Sunday homily, I shared how the resurrection, by its very nature and dynamism, propels us into the future. This is why the early Church so closely connected the celebration of the resurrection with the belief in our Lord’s second coming in glory. The resurrection of Christ cannot remain some interesting but dead note of the past. The resurrection of Christ pulls us forward to the fullness of God’s Kingdom and our encounter with the living Lord!
In essence; the resurrection sets the feet of the Church and of every believer on the road. In the twenty-eighth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, our resurrected Lord appears to the women and tells them, “Do not be afraid, go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” The disciples are to set out, to get on the road! The resurrection propels us forward! We are told that the disciples hastened to Galilee and there they do indeed meet the living Lord and they spend forty days in his presence. What amazing and awe inspiring days those most have been…
At the end of the forty days, our Lord ascends into heaven and as he ascends to the Father, two angels appear and say, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way as you have seen him go to heaven.” (Acts. 1:11). The disciples were instructed to “go to Galilee” and when they do they meet our risen Lord and spend forty days in his presence. Now, after these days, they are called “men of Galilee”. Something utterly unique and transformative happened those forty day and the disciples were changed. They were now, “men of Galilee” – men of relationship with our risen and living Lord and Savior. They had learned to recognize him in the breaking of the bread and in the full understanding of the Scriptures and they knew the lesson of serving just as he had served.
As we begin the days of this Easter season we should do so with the hope of also becoming more thoroughly and more authentically “men and women of Galilee”! This hope should be present in our individual lives and in the life of our parish community. Just as the resurrection propelled the first disciples forward and set their feet on the road to encounter the risen Lord so does it also propel us forward! No matter what struggles, frustrations or sufferings we might be facing in life we should have no fear. Christ has overcome the tomb! Death has been defeated and the tomb has been emptied of all power and oppression!
My prayer is that we, individually and as a parish, enter these days of the Easter season as our “Galilee time” with our Lord. These days we should pray a little more fervently, read Scripture more thoroughly, receive the sacraments more frequently, serve others and support one another more lovingly and be ever open to the new encounter with our risen Lord! All of this done through both the light and the impulse of the resurrection.
The resurrection propels us forward to our encounter with the living Lord! We should hasten on our way! “Tell my brothers (and sisters) to go to Galilee, there they will see me.”
Our feet have been set on the road!