Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

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MCGUIRE-Brendan_webBy Fr. Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose and Vicar General for special projects, Diocese of San Jose. Email him at bmcguire@dsj.org.

 

Here Comes the Resurrection

“Go to Galilee, and there you will see him.” Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb because they believed what Jesus had told them. The angel appeared to them and said, “Go tell the disciples that he is risen from the dead; go to Galilee, and there, there they will see him.” And on their way, Jesus appeared to them as well.

Pope Francis reminds us that they are called to go back to where they first encountered Jesus Christ in Galilee. It was where they first saw Jesus, where they first heard Jesus, where they first experienced Jesus. It was there they came to believe in Jesus, and they followed him. He promised that he would rise from the dead and that he would be the fulfillment of all that they had heard.

Now as the risen Jesus, he is telling them to go back to Galilee, to go back to where he first met them and to re-create every little thing they said or did together in light of the Resurrection, and to experience everything anew.

Think for just one moment, when and how you first encountered Christ? When did you have the first clarity of Christ? Was it through a person? Was it because of a place? Or was it a circumstance?

For me, it was when my father bought a large piece of bog land in Ireland. It was swamp that could be cut with a plow and then planted with trees. I was 12 years old at the time when the first tractor appeared on the bog land to plow, but it completely sank into the bog. He then hired the best tractor man in the town to lift out the first tractor. As the second tractor approached, it sank as well. Now there were two tractors in the bog land. I remember him looking at me and saying, “I don’t know why this has happened, but the Lord will provide a solution.”

Two weeks later, we waited for another tractor to arrive. My father had hired a rather inventive farmer, who had creatively put a plank of wood like a railway sleeper on every single one of the tracks of his tractor. Basically, his tractor floated!

When my dad looked into the horizon with the new tractor coming, he said, “Here comes the Resurrection.” And in rolled the new tractor; it looked like it was floating on top of the bog land.

The man steps out, sinks down to waist high, buckles up one tractor, pulls it out. Buckles up the second tractor, pulls it out, and then says to my father, “Ah, sure, while I’m here now, why don’t I plow out the land for you?” I will always remember him looking down and saying, “Here comes the Resurrection.” That was one of my first moments of faith.

All our lives are different, and some have had “tractors sink in our life.” The Lord promises us that, if we can believe in the Resurrection and go back to our Galilee, where God first visited us, that first experience will illuminate a new way. If we choose to believe, then every moment can be transformed. Every single moment!

We must promise that no matter what happens in our darkest hours that we will always say, “Here comes the Resurrection.”