Homily for Easter Vigil, Year A, 2023 - Dcn Jim Curtain
Hope, Joy. Where is love at the centre of our lives?
Creation, powering down, or up? 3.7 billion years, leading to ?
Transformation. Following Christ, the transformed resurrected Christ. Transformed into who we really are, deep down. Who am I, deep down?
I am the resurrection and the life, we are told, those who believe in me, shall live.
Creation, struggle, transformation.
Tonight we remember, we celebrate, the meaning, the purpose, of the cosmos!
In our readings we have started with creation, and we have heard stories of vocation as Abraham was called to be the father of Israel, , of liberation as Moses led the people of Israel out of slavery, of hope as the prophet Ezekiel invites all to be washed clean of their sins.
And finally we here and now, like the disciples, are being called to follow Jesus. To follow Jesus who is resurrected from death, and who is transformed.
Are we ready to accept transformation? Transformation from what?
Most of us have a face we put to the world. Most of us have an image we like to project, whether it is one of being sensible, or tough and cynical, or maybe soft and sentimental! This image probably reflect some of our character, but for all of us there is a deep self, and a deep centre. When we truly love someone, or truly love God, or indeed are in deep grief, this love and grief comes from our deep centre, our true self.
Christ through his life, and particularly through his death, showed us that his deep centre was his identity with the Father, his full participation in divine life, and in his work of healing and teaching he showed total love for all his brothers and sisters, all of God’s children. Even in the horror of the crucifixion, even in despair, Christ continued on the path of love, forgiving those who killed him, caring for his mother, calling on the Father.
Christ, when he rose from the dead, was transformed. Yes, his body still showed the wounds of crucifixion, and yes, he could still eat, but he seems to move in new ways, and at times those who knew him found it difficult to recognise him. Christ had given himself totally in love, and as all of creation shows God’s outpouring of love, so Christ’s total sacrifice shows that love transforms. This transformation is the purpose of creation. As God is love, so the whole cosmos is the expression of that love.
The disciples are invited to follow the transformed Jesus on the path of love. So are we. Are there places in our lives that need transformation? Broken relationships, addictions, angers? Can we be open to love, to sacrifice, can we seek to forgive others, as Christ forgave those who crucified and betrayed him! Can we seek to be people of healing and giving? Can we seek to be people for others?
Can we seek to live the life of the transformed, the resurrected, Christ.