Easter Sunday April 9, 2023

Father Rick’s Two-Minute Homily for Easter Sunday,
April 9, 2023, John 20:1-9


Who Will Fill My Emptiness?

Peace be with you, my friends and to all whom you love and cherish in your hearts. Welcome to our Easter Celebration of our Risen Lord Jesus. Happy Easter!

I can’t help but think on this Easter morning of all the empty tombs around us. I think of the emptiness of the widow and widower who just lost a spouse. I think of the parents who open the cupboard and the fridge and have nothing to feed the family.

I think of the immigrant who comes here from Ukraine, running away from utter terror. Where do they start? They can’t speak the language and have nothing in their pocket to get something to eat.

Think of the neglected child and the single parent whose heart is empty but must keep struggling to care for their children. Think of Pinellas Hope, Venezuela, and Catholic Ministry Appeal. Who runs with Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John to these empty tombs?

You and I are running, of course. We have no fear of going down into those empty places in ourselves and others. The Risen Jesus, the victor over everyone’s death, is waiting to rise from our nothingness, failures, dead ends, and empty cupboards. We must run into that empty tomb of people we know and who need our ministry. If we don’t, there may never be a resurrection for them.

What about us? We have burdens and problems only the Lord can manage. The great thing is that the heavy work is already done. Like Mary Magdalene discovered, the stone blocking Jesus’ tomb was rolled away.

Whatever we must tackle, don’t go alone. Take Jesus with you.

Listen to Paul to the Colossians: Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Did you hear that? Our life is hidden with Christ. He is our protection. When we leave our affairs with Him, everything will be peaceful. Pray over and over, “Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything” and He will. He resolves the most difficult situations in the most amazing way.

All that was left in the empty tomb of Jesus was the wrappings they used to bury the Body of Jesus. When we investigate the empty tombs of people we serve and our empty tomb, please God, all that we will see are memories to be forgotten. No more empty cupboards. No more worry, sleepless nights.

Peace be with you, everyone, and Happy Easter.

Fr. Rick Pilger, IC

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