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From the pulpit: Resurrection Day

“Easter means the joy that hatred was defeated by Love… Easter means the hope, that life always makes sense… Easter means belief, that nothing is impossible… Easter means good, joyful and warm wishes…” – homily for the Resurrection Sunday given by Fr. Joseph Szpilski CM in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, Brooklyn, NY.

Dawn of the first day after Shabat. Nothing special was supposed to happen on that morning. However, there was something, that kept uneasy his associates, who followed Him in recent years and days. It was still dark, when Mary Magdalene arrived to the tomb of Jesus and saw the stone rolled away. She didn’t know what could have happened and decided to notify those who were friends to Him. Response was quick. “Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. When he bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there… Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head… He saw and believed. They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead” (John 20: 4-9). Resurrection of Jesus changed the world. Fr Mieczyslaw Malinski, well-known Polish poet-priest wrote, “We return to the tomb of Jesus, trying to understand what it means to be resurrected … what it means to each of us.” Contrary to what today’s world of consumption suggests, first of all, Resurrection of Jesus teaches us faith and hope. This is why John has wrote, “he went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth… He saw and believed” (John 20:8). Easter is the feast of faith and hope. We never can forget it!

Cross was installed on the grave of Hubert Roztworowski, Polish poet and playwright of 1920s. One of the arms bears inscription: “Surrexit Christus Spes Mea…” – “Christ Has Risen, My Hope”. Another inscription was made on the cover stone of the tomb, “I BELIEVE”, “WIERZĘ”. Church proclaims the truth of Resurrection since over over twenty centuries. I feel sad, when I hear evil comments about my Church. It hurts when young people turn away from the Church. When they do not feel themselves the Church. It’s annoying to see demons of the past in expressions such as, Christ – YES! Church – NO! Pope John Paul II taught us at Jasna Gora in 1997, “after all the Church is our spiritual mother… The Church is the body of Christ… NO told to the Church might be NO told to the Christ as well; it’s true, that the Church is a reality, human reality, too, which brings together all the limitations and imperfections. She is made of sinful and weak people… Did Christ himself not want, that our faith faced this difficulty? It necessary, that we were faithful children of the Church which we create. If we say Christ YES with our life and faith, we have to say Church YES, too”.

Easter is the feast of faith, confidence and life! It’s striving for what is high above not for what is earthly, as we read in the Letter of St. Paul to Colossians (cf, 3:2). Easter means the joy that hatred was defeated by Love… Easter means the hope, that life always makes sense… Easter means belief, that nothing is impossible… Easter means good, joyful and warm wishes… This is why we repeat after Klaus Hemerle, a German bishop: “Let us wish ourselves to have Easter eyes giving us opportunity to see the splendor of Easter ALLELUIA in death; to see the mystery of living in sin in the hope of forgiveness; to see God’s Mercy in consciousness of guilt; to see indestructible unity in separation; to see mystery of God in human person; to see human dignity in God; to live human «YOU» in my «I»”

To all of You, and by You to your relatives and those whom you meet at the Eastertime, I wish Easter eyes… such eyes which can see what is invisible.

Fr. Joseph Szpilski, C.M.

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