Easter Sunday – April 9, 2023



Holy Thursday,  we explored how Eucharist symbolizes liberation from slavery to sin and calls us to service of all people.


Good Friday challenged us to reflect on whether we deny Christ, to the extent that we refuse to witness to his Gospel and make it relevant in our personal lives, families, and world.


Today (tonight), on Easter, we celebrate all that God has done to set us free from sin, and how he’s made us beacons of God’s justice and peace, in order that our lives, our families, our churches, and our world might be overbrimming manifestations of the grace of salvation and the joy of being made members of God’s kingdom!


And for that we say,  Alleluia!  (repeat)  Praise the Lord!   (repeat) He is risen from the dead!  (repeat)  Our hearts are filled with joy!   (repeat)


Yes, to arrive at this awesome celebration of New Life that the Easter Season celebrates, we’ve travelled together in Lent by reflecting on the justice implications of our gospel and how we were challenged by God to be instruments of that justice in our sinful world, so that no one is ever excluded from the New Creation —the Kingdom of God— that Jesus proclaimed by his life, suffering, death and resurrection.   And for that we say  Alleluia! (repeat)


The justice that rolls like a river, flows TODAY into the waters of rebirth in baptism and from there, into our hearts, minds and souls and from there, out of our bodies, through the various acts of charity, love, forgiveness and kindness that we willingly undertake, out of love for Jesus and all of God’s people.      Alleluia!  (repeat)


That justice of God is indeed expressed by each of us in unique and varied ways and at different times, and is witnessed by the gifts and talents the Lord has given us, that are exercised in the various vocations with which we’ve been entrusted.


Indeed, for our Easter Season, we’ll seek to enflesh— more and more each week— a verse recorded in the letter to the Ephesians  4: 7: “Each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”   (repeat)


That means each of us has been empowered by the vocations the Lord has given us, to use our gifts and talents, to make Christ more loved, known, and praised in the world, and, by so doing, to make this world, more and more like, the Kingdom of God.

And it all starts at our baptism.

—Like one Sunday, when a priest was about to baptize a baby.  He turned to the dad and asked,  “What’s your son’s name?”

The proud father replied, “His name is William Patrick George Timothy John Mac Arthur III.

The priest turned to the altar server who was assisting and said,  “I think I’ll need more water!”   (World’s Greatest Collection of Clean Jokes, by Bob Phillips)




Yes, fundamental to each vocation is our baptism, when our names were spoken out loud in church and we were washed clean of our sins and made heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven!


As a community of faith, we (will) celebrate the New Births of Linh-Andrew,  Shannon, Owen, Liam and Evan today (tonight)!  Through those flowing waters of rebirth, they, like us at our own baptism,  (will be) were configured to Christ, made sons and daughters of God, and (will be) invited to share in the mission of the Church, which is to “go forth and make disciples of all nations!”


Far from being a one-time-only event, our baptism is meant to be celebrated every day of our lives, by the choices we make to be Christ’s loving presence in a sinful world and by inviting others to find the living faith that we’ve found in Christ.  And for that we say,  Alleluia!  (repeat)


As spiritual nourishment along the way, the Lord gave us the awesome gift of his very Body and Blood, to strengthen and inspire us, and as a means to help focus our resolve in spreading the good news, especially, at times ,when we think that our efforts are hopeless or might yield meagre results.


(At this Vigil Mass, we especially look forward to the reception of Eucharist for the first time for Glen, Shannon, Owen, Liam, Evan,  Linh-Andrew and Keandra.)


Later, when it came time for confirmation, many of us were sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and invited to confirm our baptismal commitment to share the Good News without fear or trepidation.


(And we thank God for the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit to be (was) poured out on Glen, Shannon, Owen, Liam, Evan, Linh-Andrew and Keandra this (last) evening.)  Alleluia (repeat)


Yes, this Easter, our hearts cannot help but be filled with gratitude to Jesus, for calling us to be his collaborators in bringing justice— rolling like a river—- into every crack and crevice, every shadow and dark corner that needs God’s healing and grace to bring about the end of oppression, sadness, fear, death and destruction.


Thank you, Jesus, our Risen Lord, for giving us the grace according to the measure you see fit, to make disciples of all nations, as your intentional missionary disciples.  Thank you for calling us to be a part of your  One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church!


May the Blessings of the Risen Lord be upon each of you and your families and friends!


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