Bishop Gumbleton’s Easter homily

April 8, 2016

Bishop Gumbleton’s homily on Jesus drawing us into his risen life – how to change 

…Mary and John the apostle have this special relationship with Jesus.  It’s a relationship that’s built on faith, on believing. It’s a real relationship, but it’s not one that is built on your senses, something you can see or hear and so on. It’s faith, but also it’s bonded by love. John had that special love for Jesus and Mary Magdalene did too. There’s a beautiful passage in the book called the Song of Songs. It’s part of the wisdom books of the Old Testament. In this passage it’s a song between two lovers.

The one says, “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for love is stronger than death. It’s jealousy is lasting overcomes the power of death. Love burns like a blazing fire. It blazes like a mighty flame. No flood can extinguish love nor rivers submerge it.” Love is stronger than death. That’s what brought John and Mary Magdalene — the first two to really accept a new reality that Jesus is alive! Through love we can be connected to him.

Our spirit life, which is deep within us, connects with the spirit life of Jesus and we know he is risen! It brings great joy to our hearts when we really begin to understand this, not as some resuscitation, but a whole new way of living on a different realm, a different way.

Jesus is alive forever and draws us into his risen life.  To stay united with him, to grow in love of Jesus, it probably calls for some change in our life…  Paul says here’s how to change: “Clothe yourselves then as is fitting for God’s chosen people, holy and beloved. Put on compassion — feeling with others, loving others — kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Bear with one another. Forgive whenever there is any occasion to do so. As God has forgiven you, forgive one another. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony and then the peace of Christ will overflow in your hearts. For this you are called to be one body and so be thankful.”

Be joyful, rejoice, change your lives, follow this path of Jesus and you will always be united with him. Remember: Love is stronger than death. Love will keep us always united with Jesus here in this life and forever. So as we leave the church today, I hope we will, as Paul tells us, focus on the things that are above, change our lives so that we live according to the way of Jesus, who lives forever in heaven and is reaching out to bring us to him. That’s what the joy and the peace of Easter truly means when we understand what the resurrection is.

“Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for love is stronger than death. It’s jealousy is lasting overcomes the power of death. Love burns like a blazing fire. It blazes like a mighty flame. No flood can extinguish love nor rivers submerge it.”