Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Homily 2012

Easter Sunday 2012
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! Alleluia!
I have had the opportunity to
travel to different regions of the country…
meet people from a variety of cities
and to see weather
and calamity reports from different climates…
Florida, California, the Plains, New
England, Georgia.
And I have reached the conclusion
that I am quite content
to live in
the greatest state in the union
where we enjoy a variety of seasons and
weather patterns
and a mildness
compared to the extremes of the coasts and border states.

weather gives us hope…
if you don’t like the weather, have
hope, it is destined to change soon!

My favorite
season of year is definitely Spring,
not only because Holy Week falls in Spring
and these are my favorite feasts
but because I thoroughly
enjoy the outdoors
and Spring afford me many
to bask in the
glory of nature and the beauty of the land.
At least in
the northern hemisphere, Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth,
a time to breathe in the splendor of
the universe and give praise.

Before it
became optional in the 1970s, and later forgotten altogether,
the Church’s practice of celebrating Rogation
Days in the Spring
coincided with and honored
the change of seasons,
all the while
praying to God for in the season of planting
and asking His
blessing upon the parish territory.
from the darkness of winter, the Spring blossoms give us new hope.

Many things
give hope to each of us individually…
For some it’s the day the equipment truck
leaves Progressive field for AZ.
For others it’s Friday at 5:00 on
For me it’s the first day of the year
when it’s warm enough to bike.
A new baby,
a first date, an acceptance letter, a great test score, a raise, a hug…
life’s exciting moments give us hope
all the time…
hope that we will succeed,
that things will get better.
And all of
these are ultimate signs of hope in the One who provides for us,
God, the author of life and the source
of goodness.

For many
people in the world, there seems to be no hope at all.
People who starve and never find food
die in despair.
Women and children kidnapped, tortured
and abused
forget that
they were ever loved.
Parents in poverty think there is no
way out and spend every night in tears
wondering how
to feed their children.

There is
emptiness out there that we in our relative security cannot fathom.

Yet, we
have our moments, too.
There are break-ups with significant
others and failures on tests,
gut-wrenching feeling of getting laid off or being diagnosed with illness, the
tragedy of sudden death of someone we love.

Most of us
have likely found ourselves at a point when don’t know how to go on.
calls these “liminal moments,” from the Latin for “threshold.”
These are
moments when we come to a threshold because of something shocking,
faced with the choice to turn back in
or step over the threshold in to a new
stage of our journey of life.

The Resurrection
of Christ is such a moment.
Jesus did
not fear to accept the Cross according to His Father’s will,
and thus His dying and rising has
changed the world forever.
By dying He
has destroyed death, and by rising He has restored life in abundance!

this Easter morning from the darkness of the grave,
Christ radiant in glory gives new hope
to all creation!
As the
stone rolls back and the Risen Lord crosses the threshold of the tomb,
to the amazement of the Roman
He inaugurates a new reality
for the whole world
and promises new hope to all
who follow Him.

The angels
exult, Mother Church rejoices,
every creature from least to greatest sings its own song of praise!
Christ has made all things new!

Saint Paul
writes in the Letter to the Romans that “in
hope we were saved.”
We hope not
in what we see but in what we do not see, Paul writes,
and by keeping hope alive we put our
trust in God who cares for us.
The following
verses share the promise of God to those who hope in Him:
“the Spirit
will come to the aid of our weakness”
and “all things work for good for those who love God.”
Hope saves
because when we hope in God’s love and in His promise of eternal life
we tap into the infinite power of God
to care for us
and to save us from sin.

The bottom
line of the Easter message is that we are so valuable to God
that He sent His only Son, who died
and rose for us
to bring about for us an end
to the reign of darkness
and the promise of light and
life eternal.

Pope Benedict is confident when he writes in his encyclical Spe Salvi,
on the virtue of hope, that
“The one who
has hope lives differently;
the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new
Christ has
made all things new!

So, now
when life brings us to those liminal moments,
we are standing at the threshold
stunned by
life’s turn of events
and unsure
if we can cross over into an uncertain future,
we know that we do not ever walk

The same
Jesus who died and rose for us is always present to us,
just as He promised: “I am with you always until the end of the
He will
never forsake or abandon us.
He will
send His Spirit to guide and perfect us.

We know
that we are loved, and our God has conquered Hell for us.
Thus, we do
not live like people covered in darkness with no way out.
We live as
people filled with hope,
glorious hope in our loving God, with
whom all things are possible!

The Spring
flowers arise from the cold ground and the dark of winter
to proclaim a renewal of life and a
new beginning to creation.

The Risen
Christ emerges from the stone-cold tomb
to reveal a world re-created by the
triumph of God over sin and death.

No matter
what, we are loved and we have hope in the goodness of God
who cares for us, walks with us, and
whose love sets us free.

May dear
friends, in these days, pause to ponder the beauty of the Spring blossoms,
and to see in them a living sign of
the hope in which we are saved!

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