Easter Vigil Homily - April 11, 2020
Bible Text: “Do not be afraid” Matthew 28.1-10
At this point in time, most of the followers of Jesus Christ feared for their lives. They might be thinking that if they have persecuted Jesus Christ their Lord and master, they might be the next in the lookout of the scribes and the Pharisees. However, love is powerful than fear which is most probably the very reason why these women went courageously to the tomb of Jesus. Tremendous love leads them to discover the good news of all the good news and that is the message of the Risen Lord and an angel, “do not be afraid”.
I was struck by this particular verse because it is exactly what I am feeling right now, I am afraid to be contaminated by the virus, I am worried about my family back home; I am apprehensive about our parish especially now that we don’t have masses how we can sustain our church financial needs. I also pity those who have lost their jobs and they are figuring out right now how to feed their children and to pay for their bills in the future. I am very worried about the global market because everybody especially the poor will be directly hit by the tumbling down economy. In the midst of this turmoil, Jesus Christ is telling us the same message “do not be afraid”.
Correct me if I am wrong but the contrast of fear is definitely peace. In other words, Jesus Christ is telling us, keep calm, don’t panic and be still because I have already overcome death. God wants us to experience internal peace. PEACE IS TRANQUILITY OF SOUL, SIMPLICITY OF HEART, AND SERENITY OF MIND”. The tranquillity of the soul means when our soul is anchored firmly to something that is permanently stable who is God. Storms in life have no power to capsize our life. What we need is faith to hold fast to Christ our saviour believing that He can even calm down the stormy sea. Let your spirit be always connected to Jesus and that is already enough. Second, simplicity of heart means that I focused my heart to love God and my neighbours. I can afford to lose everything but never God in my life. He is the one who makes me happy. In this tribulation, I do not only make sure that I have stored enough goods for my family but I am also thinking of other people especially those who are in need. Loving unselfishly not living lavishly is the very essence of the simplicity of heart. The third is the serenity of mind which means that my mind is only concerned with essential needs in my life, just to live a very basic lifestyle. I do not stress out my mind with uncertainties in life.
Peace is also germinating in our society. Don’t you know that this pandemic is also bearing peace for humanity? First, families are being reunited once again; generous people are coming out; crime rate, especially in densely populated cities, dramatically went down; everybody begins to realize that health is wealth; faithful are dying to attend mass and we have ample times to draw ourselves intimately to God. Jesus is telling us once again; do not be afraid, peace be with you and peace to the whole world!
HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!