Basic Information

Mass Location: St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, 2532 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Mass Time: Sunday 10 a.m. (check parish website bulletin for special feastdays which may be different)
Confessions: 9:00-9:45 a.m. - see schedule below

Monday, May 5, 2014

Homily - First Sunday after Easter - April 27, 2014

1Jn. 5:4-10; Jn. 20:19-31

In the Gospel of the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday night, Matthew gives an account of the empty tomb.  Immediately following, the risen Lord appears to the holy women.  He tells them, “Go tell my brothers that I am going ahead of them to Galilee where they will see me.”  It is the first time that the Lord speaks of His disciples as His brothers.  He has spoken of them as His disciples, as His little ones, but now, after His resurrection, He speaks of them as His brothers.  It is to say that the resurrection of the Lord has affected not only Him, but the disciples as well.  Now, they are His brothers.  They share the same God as their Father.  They share the same new life.  The resurrection of the Lord has affected them.

This is also the message of today’s Gospel, the resurrection of the Lord has affected His disciples.  He appears to them. He shows them His hands and His side, signs of the cross which He has now overcome.  He says, “Peace be with you.”  This has all been for them.  Because He lives, they have live.  Because He is at peace, they may be at peace.  And so that there would be no mistake about the meaning of His cross and resurrection, He says it again, “Peace be with you.”  And He gives them another sign.  He breathes on them.  Breath is an expression of life.  It reminds us of the breath of life which God breathed into the human person He created in Book of Genesis, imparting His own life and an immortal soul to the human person.  It is now the restored life of the Risen Lord which He imparts.  It is the Holy Ghost Whom He gives to the disciples as men of faith, and with Whose powers He endows them for the mission of the forgiveness of sins.  The resurrection of the Lord has affected the disciples.

The resurrection of the Lord has also affected us.  The resurrection of the Lord comes from above, His life comes from above, and so His message comes from above.  The faith and sacraments which the disciples proclaimed come from above.

Faith is a way of seeing.  The disciples saw the risen Lord.  In the Greek, there are three words for “seeing,” and they are all present in the account of the empty tomb in the Gospel of John.  One is “to glimpse,” Peter and John glimpsed the tomb and the stone rolled away.  The next is “to observe,” Peter and John peered into the empty tomb and observed the wrappings lying on the ground.  The next is “to see with understanding.”  John tells us, He saw and believed.  This understanding is faith, to comprehend the meaning of the signs of the Risen Lord.  In today’s Gospel, John gives us both the seeing and the understanding of the disciples.  To St. Thomas, who represents every believer, the disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord,” not to convince him that they had faith, but to convince him that he have faith.  And so, the disciples and John tell us what they saw and understood, that we may have faith.

In the Epistle, John tells us that the Lord came in the Spirit, and in water, and in blood.  In the waters of baptism, in the Eucharistic Body and Blood of the Lord, in the sacraments, we encounter the risen Lord.  These are signs of His risen life.  These, we glimpse, we observe, we see with understanding, and we believe.  The Holy Ghost is breathed upon us.  We receive His life.  We share the same God as our Father.  We, too, are brethren of the Lord.  The resurrection has affected the Lord.  The resurrection has affected His disciples.  The resurrection of the Lord has affected us.