Sunday, April 5, 2015

An Easter Promise: The Empty Tomb

My homily from the Easter Vigil 2015

When I went to college, I was blessed to have a wonderful second hand car to take with me to school. On one occasion, feeling a bit guilty at having such a benefit, I loaned my car to a friend who wanted to take a new girlfriend to dinner. He got into a small fender bender. As the car was in my dad's name, I had to tell him. I told him the truth of what happened and he did not doubt me. He said he knew me and believed that I would feel that way, do what I did, and not lie to him.

This night we are told the story of God's work in salvation history: creation, covenant, freedom from slavery, and hope by prophetic message. The story ends with Mark's account of the Gospel. The tomb was empty and they went and told no one. Wait...told no one? Yes. This is the actual ending of Mark's Gospel account.

We are left simply with the empty tomb and asked, rather challenged to believe. Having heard all that Jesus did, hearing all that God accomplished, and having the covenant and promises of God revealed, we are left with an empty tomb ans you believe? Do you trust that God is, and always has been, truthful to us? Then what does the empty tomb mean? That God has raised Jesus from the dead and given life to those in the grave and all believers for all time. God has conquered sin and death and given us hope for all ages.

In a moment we will be asked to affirm our yes to this promise of God in the new waters of Easter. We will then be asked to go out and live a life of Easter joy for and with others. Let us go knowing our God and that he would not lie to us for he has the words of everlasting life!

Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen! Alleluia!