Today’s blog features a homily that Fr. Michael Schleupner delivered on Easter Sunday. It’s a message that can inspire us throughout this Easter season and beyond!
“For the Living among the Dead?”
John 20:1-18, Mark 16:1-8
“Why are you looking for the living One among the dead?” We hear this question in today’s gospel. Maybe it’s a good idea to allow it to be asked directly to ourselves: “Why are you looking for the living One among the dead?”
Could it be that sometimes we do that? And could this be a reason why some of us struggle with our faith in the resurrection of Christ and in the promise of our own resurrection? I wonder if we are, in effect, “looking among the dead” when we are always picking at the negative things in others or in life itself. I wonder if we are “looking among the dead” when fear leads us to do harmful things.
Do these attitudes and actions keep us from experiencing “the living One” – the risen Christ?
Messengers of Life…of God
We see this in today’s gospel. Some of Jesus’ friends find the tomb empty, and they are bewildered. Then, two persons appear. Our tradition sees them as messengers of God or angels. And these two messengers speak those pointed words: “Why are you looking for the living One among the dead?”
I believe that you and I have similar divine messengers or angels who steer us in the right direction for finding the living One.
Angel of Trust
So, we may have an angel of trust in our lives.
I think back to when I was twenty-six years-old – a newly ordained priest. I wanted to develop a different kind of youth program – a program to reach a lot of young people in our community who were on the streets, drifting into trouble, and getting into drugs.
The program had risks, but my pastor gave me the green light to try it. He trusted me, and this gave me confidence in myself and in the potentials of life.
Today, try to remember an angel of trust in your life – maybe your mother or father. See if that divine messenger is really reassuring you about yourself. And see if that leads you to say with trust: “Christ is risen!”
Angel of Hope
And then, we may have an angel of hope in our lives.
Maybe we have seen someone refuse to get down in the dumps, no matter what. As a priest, I have seen this even with some people who were dying. I have seen some people refuse to get down. They see even their illness as eventually leading them home – home to God and to loved ones who are with God.
Today, try to identify an angel of hope in your life – maybe a teacher or a coach. See if that divine messenger is really moving you to keep on trying no matter what.
And see if that leads you to say with hope: “Christ is risen!”
Angel of Humor
And finally, we may have an angel of humor in our lives.
I remember the time of my father’s funeral in 1999. My father really liked good food – I mean, he really enjoyed eating. So, we were at the cemetery, I was leading the prayers and came to the part about the heavenly banquet, and we all just spontaneously laughed because we imagined dad enjoying God’s banquet in heaven. I think that our humor is a sign that death is not the last word and that life ultimately wins out.
Today, try to identify an angel of humor in your life. See if that divine messenger is really drawing you more fully into life.
And see if that leads you to say with joy: “Christ is risen!”
So, look for the living One among the living!
Look for the living One in our own divine messengers, in our angels of trust and hope and humor. If we do this, then, I think, we will be better able to really believe in the risen Christ and in our own future resurrection.
~Fr. Michael Schleupner