Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Vigil Homily: We Can Return To Galilee

The Liturgy this evening allows us to walk along the pathway of Salvation History.  We have peered into the Garden where it all began.  There, we recall a time before sin; a time untainted and pure.  We witnessed Abraham act in a purity of Faith and become a father of many nations.  We went back and passed through the Red Sea with the Hebrew people and recalled a moment in time when a people was set free from slavery.  There is something about these moments in Salvation History that console and comfort us.  It is good to go back.

As I prepared to preach tonight, one thing from the Gospel continued to strike me.  There's an earthquake, an angel declares that Jesus is risen from the dead and the big message that the angel delivers?  "Go tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee."  Really?  And then, they meet Jesus who has RISEN FROM THE DEAD and his big message?  "Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee . . . ."  No offense, but this is like saying, "Go tell my brothers to go and meet me in Dorchester or Quincy."  Why in the world is Galilee so important?

Perhaps, and I am only wondering, is it because that is where everything began?  It was there that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan by John.  It was there that he changed water into wine and preached the Bread of Life discourses in Capernaum.  It was there that he met Peter and Andrew, James and John by the sea.  It was there that they formed their friendship, healed the sick, cast out demons, and fed the crowds.  It was there that he calmed the storm on the sea.  It was a time before betrayals and denials.  It was a time before persecutions and crucifixion.  It was a time before things went badly.

In telling them to go back to Galilee, was Jesus providing the disciples a path back to grace; a path towards restoration?  The power of Jesus' Resurrection--as I sang in the Exsultet--"Dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty."  In other words, the power of the Resurrection allows us to go back to Galilee.  The life of Grace is not closed off forever.

All of us, have had our Galilee moments with the Lord.  Times when all seemed perfect and serene.  But, perhaps somewhere along the way, we have gone from the right path.  Maybe we have our own failures, betrayals, and denials.  Tonight, Jesus has such a beautiful message for us!  "Go to Galilee and there you will see me."  We can go back to the beginning because the Resurrection opens to us New Life.

Tonight, Christine and Heather will have their own Galilee.  In this Baptismal Font, they will begin a new life in Christ.  This is their Galilee.  But, after they are baptized, the Liturgy will provide for us our own opportunity to turn around and go to Galilee.  We will renew our Baptismal Promises.  We will return to that time and place when we rejected Satan and all his works and all his empty promises and when we began a new life in Christ.

The good news for each of us tonight is that we can go back to Galilee.  No matter how far we've travelled from that experience, no matter what failures, sins, betrayals, and denials have been part of our story, the way of the Resurrection leads to Galilee.  This word is for all of us tonight.  Let us rejoice and go to Galilee.  Go to Galilee and you will see him there.

No comments:

Post a Comment