I need not fear because Christ has risen from the dead
Easter Sunday of the Lord's Resurrection
April 17, 2022 •
Some of the Fathers of the Church tell us that, at the root of all fear, is the fear of death. Even if you're not necessarily dying, the pain that you're suffering is a small experience of dying, of death.
It's the Resurrection of our Lord from the dead that can ultimately conquer that fear.
It's this Resurrection that gave the apostles such courage as they went forth to proclaim the Gospel. They were no longer afraid to be arrested, imprisoned, beaten, stoned, or to die for Christ. Because they had seen firsthand that He was master of death.
For each of us, as we go through our lives, if you're honest, you'll note that you still have these kinds of fears to one degree or another. There's still a fear of suffering. Still a fear of sickness, and of course, of death. This shows us that on some level, my faith in Christ has not been perfected. I'm not truly convinced of the Resurrection yet.
The apostles have an advantage over us, they actually saw Him rise. They saw Him. They talked with Him. They ate with Him. That experience was obviously so profound, that it made acts of heroic suffering and death much easier for them. That's why Jesus says to Thomas, "Blessed are those that have not yet seen." That's us. Two thousand years later.
The challenge that we have is not sitting in church on a beautiful Sunday morning rejoicing - that's the easy part. It's when the suffering is happening. When they dying is taking place - do you still believe? Because that's when we doubt, that's when we struggle.
Whatever the suffering is, if you're centered in Christ, if you're faithful to your prayer, you'll find in that moment the grace and strength that you need to have faith, and hope. Yes, I may be dying, but I need not fear because Christ has risen from the dead.
Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9
Homily begins at 22:10
Easter Vigil Mass.