3rd Sunday of Easter — Deacon Newton homily

Deacon Gary – Homily 3rd Sunday of Easter

This is the Third Sunday of Easter. The Easter season is our most joyous time of year. A time to bask in the loving sacrifice of Jesus that saved us from our sins and opened up the gates of heaven for us through his resurrection. There is no greater gift, no greater joy that our Lord and God could possibly give us. With such a precious gift, should we not be at peace in our lives?

Unfortunately many people would say how can we be at peace in our lives when there is so much pain and suffering still in the world? Jesus’ death and resurrection did not eliminate sin and evil in the world. He conquered death that results from sin. We will rise to new life after death as proven by Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus has shown us the way to everlasting life so what do we have to fear?

Yet all of us are human and can find life’s challenges very difficult at times. The question is can we find peace in the midst of the storms of our lives? Our inner peace should emanate from Jesus and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us thus knowing that our eternal life is destined for heaven. Therefore our answer to the question if we can find peace should be yes, but it comes down to the ultimate question as to what do we put our faith, hope, and trust in?

Of course we must use our talents, gifted to us by our Lord and God, to the best of our abilities to traverse the landscape of our lives but what will ultimately lead us to the peace and tranquility we so desperately long for? Do we put all our faith in ourselves, money, and the things of this world, only the tangible things we can see and touch? Jesus said to his disciples. “Peace be with you.” He is saying to not worry about what comes your way in life, remember who is with you through it all.

Do you remember the movie The Lion King and when they sang: “Hakuna Matata”, which means: “No worries for the rest of your days.” Doesn’t that sound like paradise? Imagine never having any worries. Jesus is bestowing peace upon us all. We no longer should worry about what happens next in our lives as long as we embrace Jesus’ invitation. With Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, there is truly nothing to worry about. That doesn’t mean life will be easy but it does mean we can be at peace if we put all our faith, hope and trust in the loving embrace of our Lord. If this is true, then why are we so troubled in life?

Jesus’ disciples had to face the challenge of answering this same question in the Gospel today when Jesus asked them: “Why are you troubled?” Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection bringing them what should have been received as his comforting words of peace. They were troubled because they knew he was dead and thought they saw a ghost. Jesus reassured them that he is physically present by telling them to touch him and see for themselves. He even eat food with them. Jesus is showing them that he brings them the source of true peace which includes his physical presence in their lives.

Can we embrace this same message from Jesus and apply it to our lives? Some may say how can this be true for us today, Jesus isn’t present to us as he was with his first disciples and even they struggled with believing him. This is our sticking point as well, our lack of faith in Jesus. So, if not Jesus, what do we count on to provide peace in our lives?

Some might say a good job with good pay is all you need so you can pay your bills and put some money away for a rainy day. Some might say good health would be all they need. Some might say you need both, what good is money if you don’t have your health. We most likely would all agree that neither health nor money is a guarantee in anyone’s life. This world cannot offer us such guarantees.

You have heard many stories of people who are poor that had very difficult lives and those that even though they had near nothing materially had a happy life of love, friendship and family. You also heard of those that have a lot of money but are miserable. So money or things do not directly equate to peace in one’s life. Where do you find this true source of peace? What will guarantee it? Where do we go, what will it cost?

Some may roll their eyes with the answer, but Jesus makes it very clear in today’s gospel. Peace emanates and rests solely in him. There are those that will still say they trust only in the things they can see, touch and can possibly control which makes their focus the things of this world because they believe Jesus isn’t present to us as he was with his first disciples.

Jesus is telling us today the same thing he told his disciples 2000 years ago. He is physically present in our lives and he is there to help us through all life’s challenges. He calls us to come to him in the Eucharist, to his physical presence shared with and within us.

There is no other guaranteed source of peace for us then to give all our troubles to Jesus. He took on all our sins and is there to walk with us through all our trials in life. Until we give ourselves totally to Jesus, we will not experience the peace we so desperately seek and long for. What do we have to lose? Jesus wants peace for us and we want it too? Let go of your reliance on this world.

Are you ready? Are you ready to put all your faith, hope and trust in the only true source of peace, our Lord Jesus Christ? If yes, then let go of the things of this world holding you back and let Jesus walk with you and show you the way to peace knowing your destination is heaven.

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