Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary - Homilies


"Let Us Look Forward in Hope to the Everlasting Joy of the Heavenly Kingdom"
Homily for Easter Sunday
Fr. Jonathan L. Reardon
April 8th, 2012
Year B


In The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, there are several contemplations on the mystery of the Resurrection. One of these deals with what St. Ignatius thought would have been Jesus’ very first appearance after rising from the dead - an appearance to his Mother. And indeed, Mary’s name doesn’t appear on the list of women who went to the tomb on Easter morning. Why didn’t she go?  Maybe she did not go because Jesus had already risen and appeared to her. Mary’s great virtue is faith. She believed that “what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” She meditated on this in her heart. We can, therefore, only imagine what this meeting must have been like. What might they have talked about?  Perhaps they spoke about Mary’s new mission – as the spiritual mother of the whole Church; maybe about the Scriptures that Jesus had fulfilled through His passion, death, and resurrection. Maybe tears of joy were enough all on their own. And that joy was of a whole new kind – it was the joy of the resurrection, an everlasting joy that neither death nor suffering could tarnish ever again. And that’s the joy that every Christian can look forward to, because of Easter; it’s what makes us different.

The glorious resurrection of Jesus is the central mystery of our faith and is the basis of our hope. The resurrection means that Jesus overcame death, sin, pain, and the power of the devil. It is the culmination of the work of salvation that He set out to accomplish in His earthly life. It reveals that He has power even over the most fearful thing of all – death. His mortal body is now immortal which gives the believer hope for life after death. This work of salvation is now continued in the sacraments. Dying and rising with Christ by means of the grace of the sacraments means that we must, as Jesus began a new, immortal life, seek the things that are above and live our lives according to the Spirit – as people of the resurrection.

In this very church we have examples of what it means to live as people of the resurrection, Blessed Pope John Paul II described us as “Easter People.” Depicted in the stain glass windows are our champions of faith. They teach us by their holy lives how to live as “Easter people” – as people of faith, filled with the hope of eternal life; that lives each day in great love – of God and neighbor. In the alcoves of the church on either side, we have Sts. Peter and Paul. Down the nave of the church, to your right, we have St. Patrick – patron of the Irish people, who taught us about the Trinity using a shamrock; St. Margaret Mary – she was the visionary of the Sacred Heart and spread devotion to Christ’s Heart through her writings. St. Agnes – depicted with a lamb as a sign of her virginity and martyrdom. St. Dominic – founder of the religious community the Order of Preachers. St. Isaac Jogues – the first among the Jesuit martyrs of North America. Blessed Kateri – a Native American woman known for her chastity and austere life; the first Native American woman to be venerated in the Church. Down the left side of the church, we start with Jesus, depicted as the Good Shepherd and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Joseph – the foster father of Jesus. St. Anne – the mother of Mary. St. Michael the Archangel – known for the great battle against Satan recorded in the Book of Revelation; he is also the patron of the Diocese of Springfield. Finally, St. Mary Magdalene – from whom the Lord cast our seven devils; she was a very close follower of Christ and a witness to the Resurrection.
These are our Catholic heroes. They are witnesses to the resurrection in their earthly and heavenly lives. They are depicted in the windows of churches, as well as in statues, as a reminder that it is possible to live our lives according to the Spirit of God. They are proof that there is life after death. They witness to us of the reality of heaven. When we walk into the church and see this “great cloud of witnesses” it is as if we had been lifted up in spirit, like we are walking into heaven itself. They witness to the reality of heaven and the joy of the resurrection.

Our Blessed Mother, the saints that are portrayed in the windows of this church – and all the saints that have gone before us – all give testimony to this Easter joy. They are the first among the “Easter people.” Let us call upon them for their prayers to help us to live as “Easter people.” May we too bear witness in our own lives as Christians to the joy of the resurrection – the joy that overcomes suffering and weakness, the joy of living with our hearts joined to Christ’s most Sacred Heart – the joy of this life that looks forward in hope to the everlasting joy of the heavenly kingdom.





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.




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