Sunday, April 24, 2011
Two Easter Sermons
At the Vigil of Easter, we looked at the reason for ritual: why are we here? why do we go through this ritual? (some churches don't) But the people of the Gospel, and of all the Scriptures, were always ritually remembering their deliverance; indeed an entire book of Moses is dedicated to ritual. Ritual always ties the people to historic events: so this ritual ties us to the resurrection of our Lord: a real, historical event. That sermon is here.
At the Easter Sunrise, we considered the difference between the Marcan resurrection account and the one in St. Matthew. The Marcan one, which we presume to be the later of the two, tells us what St. Matthew omitted: that the women at the tomb were so fearful that (at first) they did not run and tell anyone. Their fear was fundamental and shook them to the marrow. But another difference between the accounts is that St. Matthew shows us instead that the soldiers became as dead men. So the soldiers, who had no faith, had also no life rising out from their fears; but the faithful women--Christians like us--also had fear but with a different result. The fear, in both cases, was due to the fact that Jesus actually rose from the dead. But in the case of the women, it was followed by abiding joy, even as we have today. For death does not have the final word. The finality is of resurrection, life, and eternal joy. Alleluia! Christ is risen! R: He is risen indeed! Alleluia! The sermon.