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Bishop Perry's Easter Homily 2024

“Without knocking on the door, Jesus suddenly came and stood in their midst and said to them,

“Peace be with you…. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” -Luke 24, 35

The word “peace” in our English parlance is a soft term easily passing by our ears without much ado. But when wished upon his disciples that first Easter, the word carried great power and consolation for a people who needed relief from grief and tired of the status-quo of their day.

Devout Christians the world over climb to the rooftops as it were to announce to the world, again, a piece of news the world has never really gotten over, namely that our God in Jesus Christ is alive when evil men meant him dead. And nothing can ever be - nothing has been the same since.

Unlike many others of documented fame and note even religiously, Jesus’ mark on civilization, morals and mores is without compare.

The doctrinal note or central tenet supplying legitimacy to Christian faith is the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ - Savior and Lord – a fact of religion, a fact of history, that has never been confounded. Jesus triumphed over the ultimate scourge of life – death, which serves as the cornerstone foundation of the faith of Christians.

Easter brings a momentous if not consoling message to our ears for we: live in terrible times: war, terrorism, genocide, domestic disorder, gun violence, climate indifference, intractable incivility, disease, scandalous poverty, moral confusion, self-centeredness, superficiality. All these feature the present moment.

In midst of all this - our lives are filled with scratches and dents, bruises, tears and nail marks. Those scars teach us and define us. They teach us how to cope and conquer life’s biggest challenges; they remind us what is of value and of worth in life; they reveal to us every day what is truly worth sacrificing and bleeding for - even dying for. Our own nail marks, our dents and scratches assure us that in God’s love and peace we can transform pain and grief, ridicule and suffering into experiences of resurrection – just like he did.

And when we meet up with Him in each our turn we shall notice immediately his nail marks, those wounds that spelled salvation for us. And He will notice ours.

Easter sings aloud its alleluias pointing to the scars from our own Good Fridays that speak of our own struggles to conquer the odds and grow in wisdom and grace. Ultimately, our dents and scratches are lasting signs of God’s compassion, forgiveness and justice in our lives, nail marks of the healing and resurrection we have experienced and have made possible for others by the crosses we have borne up under in the spirit of Jesus.

Easter begins with the angel rolling away the stone, of eliminating the obstacles that trap us in tombs of hopelessness, anger and cynicism provoked by so much nonsense going on. Truly, we can become Easter people when we rise above that which drags us down.

We believe Jesus made a difference. And we Christians work to make sure that difference is felt by creation in all its parts even should our lives be required of us in face of the proclamation of this Easter news.

Easter, of course you understand, is much more than chocolate rabbits and marshmallow chickadees and colored eggs, as nice as these are. Easter was meant to be much more than a story told once out of the 24hr scope of a Sunday in spring.

Resurrection is more than just a miraculous coda to the life of Jesus. Resurrection can also become a life’s practice. In fact, it is meant to be so. In other words, we are meant to bestow life on each other. We can be the means for restoring life to those entombed in fear, sin and hopelessness. Easter was meant to predict each our own resurrection and change the face of the earth while man was reconciled with God.

The Lord’s resurrection restored the human race to the life of belonging, of purpose, and of hope. What God has done in raising his Son from the dead we can do when we seek to imitate Christ’s Gospel of reconciliation and peace. The Spirit that God breathed into us at birth gave us life; the risen Jesus breathes that same Spirit into us again at Baptism equipping us to be witnesses to his resurrection, instruments of his peace and the means for realizing the kingdom of God in our time and place.

50 days of the Easter season on the church’s calendar are really not enough to process the powerful life-giving redemptive implications of this feast of God’s largesse with us. It will take more than clock-time-calendar-time to unpack the import of the resurrection from the dead of the Savior Jesus Christ.

Easter faith empowers us to restore the lost ones to community, to bring hope to the despairing and grieving, to advocate for recompense for the abused and marginalized, to heal and mend hearts broken and fractured, to construct bridges across chasms of animosity and fear of the stranger. Yes, this Easter season, summons us to recommit ourselves to the humbling and selfless work of raising the dead to life. For the resurrection of Jesus is a power that keeps on saving.

Indeed, an alive Jesus awaiting us joining him in his kingdom makes sense to others when we believers can bring someone back from the dead. Some of the most powerful acts of resurrection happen to the least likely people.

Be confident then, that we are the people of resurrection’s hope, called to live passionately and compassionately with others, to defy the death dealing happenings of our day, to forgive and to bring others back into fellowship, to do something that is life-giving, that fights death and needless suffering.


-every time we bring hope into a situation,

-every time we bring joy that shatters despair,

-every time we forgive others who do us wrong.

-every time we help the unfortunate ones and give them back dignity,

-every time we listen to others and affirm them and their lives,

-every time we choose fellowship over bigotry,

-every time we speak the truth in public,

-every time we confront injustice – yes – in these ways we bring people back from the dead. Then the resurrection of Jesus continues to make sense while being a beacon of hope people can lean on amidst their own trials of life.

May today’s worship empower us to bring the peace of the risen Jesus into our homes and hearts, schools and neighborhoods and workplaces. For this is the work of Christians. For this is the festival of the Savior Jesus Christ!


Attending Mass at SJC
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