LESSONS FROM A HOMECOMING (OR, HERE’S HOW YOU KILL YOUR FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE)

This homily, based on Luke 4:21-30 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, was delivered at St. Agnes Catholic Church.
the-spirit-annoints-jesus-to-preach-the-gospel

Things went very wrong rather quickly at this homecoming. Jesus shows up one morning in his hometown, and he is greeted by a huge turnout in the synagogue: Family and friends have come to hear one of their own, now a minor celebrity in his own right. They are amazed at his wisdom, and they are all praises for this son of Nazareth.

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WHAT THE DISCIPLE SAW AND UNDERSTOOD

This homily was delivered on Easter Sunday, 20 April 2014, based on John 20:1-9.

Eugène Burnand: Peter and John Running to the Tomb
Eugène Burnand: Peter and John Running to the Tomb

This event is one of the earliest ones concerning the Resurrection; it happens early Easter morning. As we read from the Gospel, Mary Magdalene shows up at Jesus’ tomb while it is still dark, but is surprised and distressed to see the stone removed from Jesus’ tomb. So she rushes away to report this to Simon Peter and another disciple (whom many identify as the Evangelist) and tells them her very logical conclusion that the body of Jesus has been stolen.

Curious and disturbed about the news, the disciples decide to check it out for themselves. They’re understandably worried and clearly eager to find out because we’re told that they run to the tomb. In fact, the other disciple runs faster than Peter–either because he’s more fit or more desperate, we’re not sure–and arrives at the tomb first. We don’t know why, but probably out of courtesy, he does not go into the tomb until Peter gets there and in fact, he lets Peter go in first. 

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