- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

Homily for April 6, 2021 – Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

April 6, 2021 – Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

Acts 2: 36-41, John 20: 11-18

The Acts of the Apostles recounts how the rag-tag, motley band of disciples came out from their isolation. Fear, doubt, shame, and guilt kept them closed in on themselves. Enlightened by the flame of the Holy Spirit, they came to realize that all they were experiencing was part of their participation in the redemptive work of Christ. Knowing himself to be called by Christ and forgiven by him, Peter stepped out and proclaimed the Good News of Salvation. The brutality endured by Christ, the terror experienced by the disciples, and the darkness blinding the minds of the people became the means of redemption because of the Father’s abundant merciful love. Through the self-sacrifice of the Son, God and man were reconciled and Satan was defeated.

The Father was glorified in the Son who endured the scandal of the cross. Similarly, the Father was glorified in the Church who simplified the rites for the Sacred Triduum out of pastoral concern for the health and safety of her members. The solitude and isolation of men and women across the world, cut off from their families and friends, living in fear of an uncertain future, were poignantly attested to in the rituals of Holy Week. Isolated and separated from one another, people found themselves alone with the Alone in the sanctuary of their hearts.

In that sacred, inner space each of us can pray with minds and hearts filled with gratitude for Jesus Christ, our companion in joy and sorrow. The stark settings of prayer, Scripture, and Sacrament brought us into personal contact with the elusive intimacy and ineffable reality of God’s love. This encounter can awaken in us a desire to share communion with all the members of the human family. He who was lifted up on the Cross and is now risen from the dead draws us to himself and one another with strong cords of affection and love (CF. Hos. 11:4). Silent contemplation of the mystery of redemption is the most powerful means of communication in a world where the COVID virus continues to bring grief and solitude, and where and the “virus” of indifference and bigotry continues to wreak death, poverty, injustice, and despair. By conforming our gaze to Christ’s, our gaze is transformed into a gaze of healing, reconciliation, and fraternity.

Ever since Jesus took upon himself the wounds of our humanity, God’s love has enlightened our darkness. We are invited to enter into a silence that speaks to and fills the emptiness that only God’s infinite mercy can fill. Accepting the Father’s loving embrace we proclaim that Christ is risen from the dead. We affirm that by his death, Christ conquered sin and death. By rising from the dead, he gave life to those who were in the tomb. As we receive the Eucharist, we enter into an intimate encounter with the Risen Lord. Especially in these times of separation and isolation, the Risen Lord is with us. He gives himself to us as food for the journey. Let us allow ourselves to be taken into his loving embrace and thereby be reconciled to the Father. Knowing ourselves to the called and forgiven by Christ, let us commit ourselves to the restoration of justice and the building up of the Kingdom. My brothers, Christ is risen from the dead. Let us glorify his resurrection