Sunday, April 20, 2014

HOMILY Easter Vigil April 20, 2014 St Austin, Austin, TX

          I want to emphasize that the stone was HUGE.  For this was no ordinary, run-of-the-mill, simple stone.  Oh no.  This stone had tremendous symbolic value.  For this stone represents all the sin, all the evil, all that was contrary to the Will of God; all the pettiness, all the anger, all the lust, all the greed, all the fear, all the lies, all the jealousy, everything that was dirty, that was evil, that was petty, that was selfish, that was false, that was bad.  So truly it was a HUGE stone.          If you have ever struggled under the weight of guilt, remorse, shame, you know how heavy this stone can be.  And this was not just one person’s guilt, but the guilt of us all.
          This stone symbolically was HUMONGOUS.  This stone made the rock that Sisyphus pushed look puny.  This stone made Enchanted Rock out near Fredericksburg look like a little pebble.  This rock was everything that was against God and it was put there deliberately to bury the light.  This stone was meant to seal the tomb, to bury once and for all The Light of the World, and to keep The Light buried under guilt, regret and shame for all eternity.  It was the weight of all the world’s sin.  Truly, it was HUGE.
          It was meant to stay there, blocking the Light, for all eternity.   It lasted about a day.
          “After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,* Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.   And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.”
          The angel sat upon it.  This great stone, so impressive and oppressive, so threatening and intimidating, becomes a stool for God’s messenger boy to sit on. 
He sat upon it!
          For you see, after sin and evil and pride had done their worst, they couldn’t even keep Jesus in the ground!  
          Jesus has been raised up!  Alleluia!  Death and sin are beaten.  The devil is vanquished.  There is no more need to fear.  Jesus has been raised and we are promised immortal and eternal life.  
          Be open to something unexpected, something totally surprising.  Expect an
earthquake in your outlook and understanding!  Let the message of God role away the
stone of fear and sin and all that keeps Jesus from living in you fully. 
           The huge stone of evil and sin does not block the Light anymore.   The Gospel tonight proclaims that Jesus “Has been raised from the dead,”!!  Jesus is with us still!  This is something New and earth-shattering! 
Love is stronger than hate! 
Life conquers death! 

God wins!   Alleluia!!!

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