’s Mark Kurowski reflects on the meaning of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.  Why does Jesus’ Resurrection mean something to us?  What kind of perspective does it give us? Listen to this podcast of his reflection on the readings for Easter Sunday to find out. Please read John 20:1-9. #GreatPreaching #Prayer #Sermons #Homilyhelper #Legacy #EASTER, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday,   4/20/2014 , Easter Sunday.

Please pause this audio and read John 20:1-9.

          When Sandi and I were newly married, I called her work and scheduled a surprise vacation day. I secretly worked with her co-workers and boss to have her patients taken care of or cancelled for the day. I waited until she left that day, packed bags for us and then went to her place of work with a casual outfit for her to change into. When she got there, she said, “What are YOU doing here?” Then we all surprised her with the fact that she had a day off for which she had never planned. I showed her the packed bag and off we went. If she had known, she would have planned down to the very last minute detail. Yet, none of us really have that luxury when it comes to death. When we die, there really isn’t someone there having planned for us, or is there?

          “Gentlemen, ultimately, this whole project is about Salvation,” said Fr. Larry Hennessey at Mundelein Seminary. What is salvation? Salvation is to be saved from death and taken into heaven at the end of our life and at the end of time. Our salvation is what Easter is about. Let me just say, “Happy Easter.”

          It is an amazing thing that someone you thought was dead is now alive. You run to their tomb only to find it empty. Did someone rob it? No. The stone would have been way too heavy to move without a struggle with the guards. If there were a robbery, then the guards would be dead near the side of the tomb, as if it had been opened from without. Matthew 27:66 tells us of the safeguards taken by the leaders to ensure that this stone would not be moved from the outside. So, here it is, guards hardly disturbed, stone rolled away, as if from the inside.

The grave cloths which wrapped the body are not strewn all about as would be the case with a case of theft. They are neatly folded as if someone got up, took them off, folded them and then politely walked from the grave.

In the weeks to come, we will have story after story of the appearance of Jesus to his disciples. He will walk with them. He will talk with them. He will eat with them. He will walk through walls, appear on a shore, yet eat fish. He will be with them in a resurrected body that defies all we know about death.

Why is this so important? It is important because we all fear death at one time in our lives or another. We all fear that THIS is it. We strive to make legacy. We build and build and build in hopes that we will not be forgotten. The wonderful thing is that we aren’t forgotten, but our perspective is skewed.

The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead means that death has no hold on us. There is a reality beyond this reality. We do not have to hold on to this life, in fact, we can let it go. We don’t have to be the best, the top, the richest, the strongest, have the highest G.P.A. or paycheck. We don’t have to have the biggest house, biggest car, biggest bank account because these things are just left behind. What we do need to have is a relationship with Jesus Christ and a life that allows him to overtake us, live through us and make us the best humanity has to offer. It is through THIS event that Jesus bridges the gap between this life and heaven. By defeating death, we who go through death who have been attached to him, made part of him in baptism and remain in him through the Eucharist and a life that loves God and neighbor, we transcend death into a life forever and ever.

There will be no more crying. There will be no more death. There will be no more misunderstandings, fights, power-plays and rejection. It is all because this event, the Resurrection, took place. When I live a resurrected life, I can withstand all that comes at me, even when I think I cannot. My priorities change and I understand that the thing I was clinging to that I thought gave my life meaning really doesn’t. Let me explain through example.

My spiritual director, Sr. Joyce Diltz, is getting near retirement and beginning in May she will no longer do overnight retreats. They are just too much for her one and a half person staff. When I asked her during one of our sessions, “Joyce, who is going to take over when you retire?” She said, “No one.”

I replied, “Doesn’t it bother you that Bethany Retreat House will not go on after you are gone?”

She said, “No.”

Incredulous because I, too, think in terms of legacy like a bad hangover from my pre-Jesus days, asked, “Joyce, doesn’t THAT BOTHER you?”

As my spiritual guide, she said calmly with a little smile on her face, “No. Bethany Retreat House was here for the time that God wanted it to be. It touched the lives of the people that God wanted it to touch. If God wants someone to run it, he will bring them to me, but I have done what the Lord wanted me to do, and that is enough.”

Why does this story speak to me about heaven? It does because all the things we hold onto: fame, notoriety, money, riches, and most of all, legacy, they don’t matter to someone to whom the journey doesn’t end with death. That is where EVERYONE in the Gospel story thought that the story of Jesus ended, with DEATH. Yet, look, the stone is rolled away. The disciples are heralded by Mary Magdalene to “come and see”. Easter is the day where Jesus says, “this life is not the end or even the whole enchilada, it is just the beginning.”

What are you doing to plan for the life forever more? Where are you in your preparations for the journey to Jesus? Don’t worry, wherever you are in your preparations, he is already way ahead of you, waiting for you, bag in hand because he has already made the journey and knows how to take you there. Believe, friends. Believe and be saved. He is Risen! Amen? Amen.


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