Year "B" Easter Sunday
Jesus is Alive forever, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia
The Christian story is a love story. Since love is a mystery which the
human mind cannot fully comprehend, we celebrate and re-tell this story in many and varied ways. How strange it
will sound for me to sing “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer” on Easter Sunday! It will sound
strange, not so? Yet, the Easter story is nothing but a re-creation of the Christmas story.
Unlike Christmas which is celebrated with pomp and pageantry, there may neither be any big time shopping nor exchange
of gifts on Easter Sunday. There are no Easter carol on the radio and television. There are no shinning and twinkling
lights to welcome the risen Lord, yet, like the birth of Jesus, we are “born again” today to a new life of glory,
goodness and truth.
The unmistakable similarity which Easter shares with Christmas is that as the Good News of the birth of Jesus was
given to Three Wise Men, today the Good News of the resurrection is given to Three Wise Women – Mary Magdalene,
the Mother of James and Salome. Neither the shepherds nor the women were highly respected people of their time,
yet, with the good news of salvation they were able to transform the world for the greater glory of God.
Hearing the good news and being led by the star, the shepherds went to where they imagined the King might be born
– at the house of Herod. Little did they know that the revelation of Scripture has it that “in Bethlehem of Judea
shall come forth a savior to shepherd God’s people. Like the shepherds, the Women, knowing where Jesus was buried,
go to look for Jesus in the tomb. Upon entering the tomb, the Angel said to them, “You seek Jesus of Nazareth,
the crucified. He has been raised. He is not here.”
We see the radical and transformational value of the resurrection in the fact that the risen and glorified Jesus
goes not to Jerusalem the Holy City but to Galilee the “sinful city.” – “Go to Galilee and you will see Jesus there”
to liberate those whose souls were broken, forlorn and forsaken.
Jesus goes to Galilee because He died to save sinners and to restore a fallen humanity to the glory of God.
In Jesus, we see the Santa and we are the Rudolf. Like Rudolf the red nosed reindeer, our sins disfigure us and
make us ugly, not appealing to look at. No one likes to play the reindeer game with us (Rudolf) because sin has
disfigured us. Jesus, the divine Santa makes the ultimate sacrifice with His life to restore a wounded and fallen
humanity to the glory of God.
Easter becomes our celebration of a new life in God. This new life is exponential in character because our former
sinful life cannot explain the new glorious life we now enjoy in Jesus. How joyful, how happy, how blessed indeed
is the life of the one who is restored to the glory of God!
Like the Shepherds and the Women, we often seek for Jesus in the wrong places. We spend so much of our precious
time and energy looking for Jesus in places and persons where we imagine Him to be.
How often have we looked for Jesus in our successes, good times, among the so called good people and people of
influence, but miss seeing Jesus in our failures, bad times like poor health, disappointment, or among the unwanted
and lonely people around us?
We spend thousands of dollars in search of the risen Lord at some shrines in Europe, churches in the Holy Land
and other places we consider sacred, and miss seeing Jesus who is always present at the secular and sinful places,
work places, and shopping places around us.
Where is the risen Lord? To know where the risen Lord is necessitates that we should know what the message of the
resurrection is. That single message is “God is love.” Anyone who lives in love, lives in God and God lives in
Him. God’s love is not to be found in Jerusalem. Jesus is found in the Galilees of our world today – Jesus is among
the poor, the homeless, the sick, the lonely, the prisoners in jail, the oppressed and the forgotten.
Look around you, there is Jesus in the beauty of nature - the mountains proclaim the glory of God, the flowers,
the songs, the setting of the sun reveal the presence of God, etc.
Our celebration of the Eucharist becomes both a concrete expression of our belief in the resurrection of Jesus
and our willingness to go beyond our own expectations of where the risen Lord is found. It is an invitation to
see God in all things here and now.
Jesus is not dead. Jesus is alive …forever. Alleluia is our song. We do not worship a dead God. We worship a living
God who is always present in us, in others and in the world.
The great news of Easter is that the quest for holiness remains a fundamental human project but with the resurrection
of Jesus from death, we no longer have any need to go to Jerusalem or Rome to see and touch Jesus. Jesus is here
with us as we gather in His name. Look at your right and you will see Jesus, and at your left and you will see
Make no mistake about it; “Rudolf the red nosed reindeer” is not a thing of the past. There are many Rudolfs around
us who are ignored and neglected and are still in dire need of our help. The Easter joy thus challenges us to go
out to the Galilees of our world today to proclaim the good news of salvation by working for the civilization of
love on earth.
We shall truly become an Easter people when we can see and hear the voice of the risen Lord in the voice of the
baby who is crying during this liturgical celebration, on the face of the handicapped who are struggling to push
their wheelchair and on the face of the beggar on the street who may not even be asking for our help. It is by
so doing that we unite with the faithful of all ages to sing here and now, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.