Homily — The Resurrection of the Lord, The Mass ofrnEaster Day [i]

Most Reverend José H. Gomez

Archbishop of Los Angeles

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

April 1, 2018

My dear brothers and sistersrnin Christ: 

Happy Easter to you all!

Jesus Christ is risen fromrnthe dead! Let us rejoice today as the family of God!

Today we stand at his emptyrntomb — and we feel the same amazement of those first disciples. 

How can this be possible?  

On Good Friday, we stood atrnthe foot of the Cross with Mary his Mother and St. Mary Magdalene. And wernwitnessed what we heard in that first reading — “they put himrnto death by hanging him on a tree.”

So how can it be possiblernthat he is risen?

Today, we stand at the emptyrntomb. And we hear the words that the angel spoke to those first disciples touchrnour hearts.  

He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
rnYou seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
rnHe has been raised; he is not here.”

For us — this is all impossible.rnBut for God — all things are possible![ii]rnSo, Christ is Risen!  “He has been raised; he is not here.”

On this Easter Sunday we needrnto let the light from that empty tomb fill our lives with joy, with true hope.

We celebrate today — therntruth of who Jesus is.

He is truly risen from therndead and this confirms — without a doubt — that he was who he said he was. Herntruly is the Son of God.

For us, that means hisrnteaching is true, it is the Word of God for our lives. And that means we canrngive our lives to him, put our trust in his words and that path he calls us tornfollow as children of God in the Church.

And today, once again, he isrnholding out his hand to you and to me. He is calling us to live a new life —rnwalking in his footsteps and by his light; following on the path of life thatrnhe sets before us. A path that we know is true — because he has truly risen!

The empty tomb of Easterrnopens our lives and our world to the promise of eternity. We now know that thernjourney we are making on earth — if we follow the way of Jesus — will lead tornheaven.

St. Paul tells us today inrnthat second reading:

If then you were raised with Christ …

Think of what is above, not what is on earth. …

When Christ your life appears,

then too you will appear with him in glory.

Because he has risen — wernknow that we will rise! So, we can trust in Jesus. We can live now with ourrneyes fixed on him — who died once to live forever. 

So today, let us try to setrnaside any sadness, anxieties or troubles. And let us try to keep our eyes onrnheaven and the promise of the Resurrection. 

Jesus calls us now to followrnhim from the empty tomb — to go out into the world and really live!

He is calling us to see ourrnlives as a gift of love that God gives us. He is calling us to see everythingrnwe do as a work of love that we offer to God and to our brothers and sisters.

When we truly understand thisrnpath that Jesus is calling us to walk with Him — it really gives our lives a newrnmeaning and a new direction.

He calls us to spend ourrnlives in the service of others, giving them life and hope and sharing his joy.rnLove is life-giving or it is not real love.

So, my brothers and sisters,rnlet us open our hearts to the light of Christ and the love of God.

Let us walk with him inrnfriendship and holiness. Let us share his light and serve our brothers andrnsisters — so that everyone will know his love and the new life he offers us.

This is the joy of Easter! Joyrnis knowing that God loves us. Joy is knowing that our lives have a meaning andrna direction!   

My brothers and sisters, heavenrnfor us begins right here on earth. Right here at this empty tomb of Jesus.

Let us never forget that ifrnwe stand with Jesus, he will stand with us. If we go with Jesus, he willrnaccompany us along every path of our journey.

And let us ask thernBlessed Virgin Mary to accompany us alongrnthe road to heaven.

Happy Easter to all of yournand I pray that this will be a time of love and sharing — and hope and joy forrnyou and your families.

[i] Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37—43; Ps. 118:1—2, 16—17,rn22—23; Col. 3:1—4; Mark 16:. 1—7.

[ii] Mark 10:27.