THEME: THE RESURRECTION: JESUS MAKES THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE
READINGS: Acts 10:34, 37-43/ Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8/ John 20:1-9 or Luke 24:1-12
Easter Sunday homily
By His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ has made the impossible possible. As humans, we sometimes encounter problems or difficulties that are simply impossible to resolve on our own. A relation, for instance, is diagnosed of a terminal cancerous condition, and we realize that all the science, technology, medicine and money of the world cannot help. Or a dear one dies and we are grieved by the impossibility of bringing him/her back to life. Jesus, however, is capable of turning impossibilities into possibilities.
Mary Magdalene and her companions went to the tomb early that faithful resurrection morning worried about the impossibility of removing the huge stone from the entrance of the tomb (Mark 16:3). Fortunately, they were soon to realize that the resurrection of Jesus had made the impossible possible in a spectacular way: the “resurrection power” did not merely push the huge stone; it blew it away!
Consequently, they would also realize that the removal of the stone was, after all, not a great impossibility, for Jesus made possible something most impossible: He arose from the dead! Despite the fact that Mary Magdalene had earlier on heard Jesus say, “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25), and she saw Him demonstrate it by raising her brother Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44), the fact that Jesus would rise from the dead was not something she and her companions thought of as they hastened to the tomb. Their preoccupation that dawn was to embalm the dead body of the Lord.
However, in a matter of hours, they came to the realization that Jesus did not only say that He is “the Resurrection and the Life” and raised some people from the dead, but that He was truly risen from the dead as He had promised (Matt. 16:21)! Praise the Lord!
Subsequently, the resurrection of Jesus “unveiled” His divine nature to many of His disciples. They came to the realization that He was not just a great prophet or miracle worker but divine. This is what St. Thomas, who initially doubted that the Lord was risen, affirms: “My Lord, and my GOD!” (John 20:28). St. Thomas reasoned that only a Divine Person can do the impossible thing of rising from the dead!
Beloved, when Thomas and other disciples came to believe that Jesus was not only human but Divine as well, they came to realize (with hindsight) many other impossibilities that the Lord had made possible. First of all, if Jesus is God, then the impossibility of the Almighty and All-holy God becoming a human being has been made possible: truly the Word of God, the Son of God, has become flesh and dwells among us (John 1:14).
Secondly, the impossibility of a woman conceiving God had been made possible: Blessed Mary, a human being, conceived the Son of God. Thirdly, the impossibility of God being born as a human baby was made possible! Other impossibilities made possible by our Divine Master include: changing water into wine, walking on the sea (lake), feeding over five thousand people with only five small loaves of bread, etc.
Beloved, we can go on tracing many more impossibilities made possible in the earthly life of Jesus Christ, but let us return to the issue of His death and resurrection so that we can see how easily our Lord has handled the greatest human impossibility. Firstly, even if a terminal cancer case ends in death, Jesus says: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
Secondly, however the believer dies, death is no longer the end of his/her life; for Jesus has made possible the impossible thing of turning our death into new life. Lazarus was brought back to this earthly life where there is still sickness, suffering and death.
However, by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus is offering us something exceedingly greater: a new life in heaven where there is no sickness, sorrow, death nor any other form of calamity, but only joy, joy and joy in the everlasting blissful presence of God! In other words, Jesus has turned our end (death) into a new beginning. He has turned our worst end into the best beginning we can ever think of: the end of earthly life has become the beginning of an ever-joyful life in heaven. Beloved, Jesus has made possible the impossible thing of making human beings sons and daughters of God: citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20)!
Therefore, beloved, I pray that our faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ may sustain us in the face of every problem or challenge, trusting firmly that what God has in store for us in heaven is far greater than we can imagine or think of. Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis