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Easter Sunday

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/04/14 at 12:00 AM
  • One of the last things our dear Lord said before He died on the cross was: “I thirst.” As we consider the 7 things that the Gospels record that Jesus said from the cross, perhaps this seems like the most insignificant.
  • But is it really? For while in a primary sense our Lord was making mention of the fact that He was indeed physically suffering from thirst, we cannot reduce this statement to a simple biological need.
  • As with so much of Scripture, there was a deeper, more profound meaning to these words of our Lord: namely that He thirsted not just for something to drink while hanging on the cross, but He thirsted as well for the salvation of souls.
  • And this thirst for the salvation of the souls of all mankind continues to this day. Indeed, our Lord thirsts to save you, me, and all people. This is His deepest desire and His greatest hope.
  • While His bitter passion and suffering on the cross were the cause of his physical thirst for something to drink, His passion and death were also the means for our Lord to quench His thirst for souls.
  • By suffering on the cross as He did, our Lord was able to drink deeply of the chalice that the Father presented to Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was a bitter chalice to be sure, but one that Jesus was glad to imbibe, knowing full-well that this was the means to our salvation.
  • And by drinking to the dregs this bitter chalice of suffering and death, our Lord has made available to us the sweet and refreshing waters of new life that flow to us through the sacraments of His one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
  • It is when we drink deeply of this life-giving water that comes to us through all of the sacraments of the Church, that we are indeed saved and made ready for the eternal joys of heaven.
  • The sacraments unite us to God and make us His very own children, co-heirs with Christ. It is through the sacraments that we receive God’s saving grace. It is through the sacraments that God reaches out to us and draws us to Himself.
  • Over the course of this year, I have spoken often from this pulpit about the veil that stands between God and man, between heaven and earth, a veil that is symbolized for us in various elements of our liturgy and church architecture.
  • Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, that veil has stood between us and our Lord, reminding us that by our own merits and capacities, we will never reach God. He is infinite; we are finite. He is perfect; we are sinful. Because of this, we cannot reach Him on our own.
  • But today, as we consider the miraculous events that took place in Jerusalem some 2000 years ago – the events that form the central beliefs of our Catholic faith – we find God reaching through that veil, spanning the chasm of both space and time, to reach us.
  • At the time of Jesus’ death, as the centurion’s lance ripped open our Lord’s blessed side to ensure that He was indeed dead, the veil of His flesh was parted, and the chasm between God and man that was created by the sin of Adam and Eve was bridged.
  • Blood and water, the very sacramental life of the Church, flowed out from our Lord as a font of mercy creating a means for us to be redeemed. And we who are privileged enough to be called Christians have been the beneficiaries ever since.
  • In our baptism, as we are led through the waters of death and rebirth, we are symbolically placed beneath our Lord’s wounded side so that the blood and water flowing from Him may cover us with their gift of salvation.
  • Every time that we receive a sacrament worthily, we place our lips on this font of mercy and drink deeply once again of the gift of salvation.
  • And today, Easter Sunday, is the day we remember how this life-giving stream of mercy became available to us.
  • My dear brothers and sisters, this is a great day of rejoicing! Indeed, it is the day of our salvation.
  • Now all that remains is that we live as if we truly believe these glorious mysteries of our faith. All that remains, my friends, is that we allow ourselves to be transformed by our Lord’s resurrection from the dead and the grace of the sacraments.
  • For the past 40 days of Lent, we have been preparing for this great gift of salvation. Therefore, let us not waste the grace that we have received these past 40 days, and let us not waste the grace of Easter that we are now receiving! Instead let us allow the grace of Lent and Easter to transform us, to continue making us new creations!
  • Drink deeply and worthily from the font of our Lord’s saving mercy that is flowing from His wounded side.
  • He thirsts for us. May we, in turn, thirst only for Him. A blessed Easter to you all.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

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