Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary - Homilies


Solemnity of the Lord's Resurrection
Fr. Jonathan L. Reardon
April 5th, 2015
Year B

Marie and Pierre Curie were two of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world during in the early modern period. In 1903 they received the Nobel Prize in physics for their groundbreaking work on radioactivity. In 1906 Pierre died in a tragic accident. Marie was wild with grief. Every day she wrote in her diary a message to her departed husband. One day she wrote:
“Your coffin was closed and I could see you no more. They came to get you, a sad company. We saw you go down into the deep hole. Then the dreadful procession of people that wanted to take us away. Jack and I resisted. We wanted to see everything to the end. They filled the grave and put flowers on it. Everything is over. Pierre is sleeping in his last sleep beneath the earth. It is the end of everything… No, science, as such, does not have the answer. The answer must come from the other side, God’s side. It comes from the life and lips of the Man of Galilee. Into the darkness of death He brings light. Into the midst of our doubts He comes with His voice of promise: ‘I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.’”

Yes – the answer must come from the other side – and so it does. Jesus, by His passion and death enters the darkness of death in which sin had closed itself upon Him. The three women who go to the tomb expect that they will have to enter this darkness. They are anticipating having to go to the dead body of Jesus – to enter His tomb, the darkness of His seemingly eternal sleep. But to their amazement, what do they see? The stone has been rolled away… light now enters the darkness. He is not there! The other side – God’s side – has spoken… sin, darkness, and death shall have no power over Him. His glory has defeated the darkness and has opened the way for these women – and for us – to enter in, to see and to believe. He has risen as He promised!

The very absence of His body only gives credence to the nature of His person. If the stone is not rolled away, if Jesus lies lifeless in the tomb, then pack it up and go home because it was all for naught. But the very fact of the resurrection proves that He IS who He says He is – truly the Son of God. And it is on this event that the whole of Christianity hinges. We are to believe then that this Jesus by His own power rose from the dead in the flesh. It was not a return to earthly life, rather it was a glorious resurrection attaining the full development of human life – immortal, free of the limitations of space and time, and most importantly, free from the darkness of sin and death.

The mystery of the redemption wrought in Christ – confirmed in this singular miraculous event – is applied to every Christian through baptism and the other sacraments. By these means, every believer is immersed in Christ – plunged into His death so to rise with Him to new life. Thus in a mystical, theological and human way, each of us is united to Christ, we become a part of Him so that we may share in the fullness of His life and light.

(On this special night of the Easter of the Easter Vigil, two members of our community will experience the grace of these sacraments – that of confirmation and Holy Communion. In confirmation, identification with Christ given first in baptism, is strengthened. Confirmation means just that, confirmed in faith, in hope, and in love. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, who comes to make His dwelling in their hearts and souls, they will be endowed with the necessary tools to live, from the depths of their soul, fully and freely in the light of Christ – walking side by side with Him in this life, onward to the next. In Holy Communion, they will receive the very gift of Christ’s Body and Blood – His True Presence among us veiled under the elements of bread and wine. In this singular act of love, the mystery of the Lord’s self-donation on the cross is given to us for food. In this, we feed upon Him who nourishes our souls and strengthens our hearts. It is the closest to being united to Christ we could possibly be, this side of heaven. Yet, in this, heaven speaks, the other side speaks… I am here. I am with you. “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me though he die, yet shall live…”).

Yes, indeed, the other side has spoken – and continues to speak to us: I am your hope. I am your salvation. For if we learn anything from the event of the resurrection is that Christ IS God. He IS our salvation. The resurrection thus gives us hope that what we believe to be true. Though we may enter into the darkness of death, the light of Christ’s resurrection awaits us on the other side offering us the hope of eternal life. Furthermore, in His risen body Jesus reveals to us the fullness of our human nature; that which it truly means to be human – free. Free from sin, death and darkness. Free to enter into the light of God’s glory and live as we were created to be: sons and daughters of God and one with Christ our Lord.

It is in this freedom that Christ also shows us how we are to live – what we are to do. We are called to mission. On seeing the empty tomb the women are told what they are to do: go and tell the disciples what they had seen. Each time we come to Mass and encounter the risen Lord veiled under the form of bread and wine, we are given the very same instruction – go forth and announce the Gospel. When we encounter Him who was crucified and raised, He gives us the same commission to announce what we have seen and believed. We who bear the name Christian, who are united to Him through baptism and in Holy Communion, we are called to bring His light into the world. We must be the ones who speak from the other side. We must tell people of our hope. We must show them the light of Christ. For whenever we encounter the Lord in the sacraments, His light brightens within us and thus shines for all to see.

Let this, then, be the Easter where we make a firm resolution dedicate ourselves more fully to being His witnesses before others, disciples in mission – like those first disciples. Let us bear witness to the light of the other side that defeats death and conquers the darkness. May the Easter Sacraments help us then, give us the necessary grace, to encounter the risen Lord. May this grace come powerfully to us dispelling our own darkness so that we will be able to show people the reason for our hope; that the other side may speak through us; that we many show them that Christ is alive.


Fr. Jon Reardon

Rev. Jonathan L. Reardon is a priest for the diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts.
He serves at Sacred Heart Parish in Pittsfield, MA.

See other homilies of Fr. Jonathan Reardon...
Return to multimedia home...

SCTJM logo
Return to main page