On behalf of Fr. Gallagher, myself and all our parish staff, I wish you a Happy Easter. Today we celebrate the central event of our faith, as St. Paul makes clear:
"If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men the most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." (I Cor 15:17-20)
We accept Jesus' resurrection by faith, but we also know it is reasonable to believe it. One of our neighboring pastors, Rev. Gary Jensen of Shorewood Lutheran Church has written a nice summary of the evidence for Jesus' Historical Resurrection. He gave me a copy of it and I was impressed by the excellent research he did. I am making some copies available for those who would like to read his reasoned arguments.
Jesus' Resurrection is the culmination of his own "Return to the Father." (see John 20:17) He desires to take us with him that where he is we also might be. (Jn 14:3) That is precisely the theme of this last year before the new millenium. In anticipation of the Jubilee 2000, Pope John Paul II has stated that the year 1999 should be a "journey to the Father." He tells us: "The whole of Christian life is like a great pilgrimage to the house of the Father, whose unconditional love for every creature, especially for the 'prodigal son,' we discover anew each day."
Today we begin the fifty days of the Easter season (till Pentecost Sunday, May 23). Next Saturday many of our children will be receiving their First Holy Communion. In the evening Archbishop Brunett will confirm a wonderful group of young people. Please join us in these and other events of Eastertime. They are an important part of our journey to the Father and our preparation for the great year of grace, Jubilee 2000.
From Archives (Easter homilies):
Easter Vigil Homily 1998: "At the entrance was something like a small swimming pool with three steps leading down one side and three steps leading up the other. At the Easter vigil they were led into the pool. The priest asked..."
The Meaning of the Resurrection: "Forgiveness is the one new thing that has entered the world. Without forgiveness human history is bleak. Frederick Nietzsche the philosopher who stated 'God is dead,' thought the driving force of history is resentment..."
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
One of our neighboring pastors, Rev. Gary Jensen of Shorewood Lutheran has written a nice pamphlet on the Evidence for Jesus' Historical Resurrection