Easter Homily

Ninetta Sombart

 

Easter Sunday

Mark 16: 1-18 (adapted from Madsen)

 

And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint Him. And very early on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb just as the sun was rising. And they said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?”

 

And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back—and it was very large. And they went into the tomb. There they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clad in a white robe, and they were beside themselves with amazement. And he said to them, “Do not be startled; you seek Jesus of Nazareth the Crucified One. He is risen; He is not here; see, there is the place where they laid Him [his body]. But go and say to his disciples and Peter, “He will lead you to Galilee. There you will see Him as He promised you.”

And they went out and fled from the tomb in great haste, for trembling and astonishment had come upon them, and being awestruck, they were unable to say anything to anyone about what they had experienced.

 

When He had risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene from whom He had driven out seven demons. And she went and told those who had walked with Him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, their hearts could not grasp it.

 

After this, He appeared in another form to two of them on the way as they were walking over the fields. And they went back and told the rest, but they could not open their hearts to their words either.

Afterward, He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were celebrating the meal. He reproached them for their lack of openness and their hardness of heart because they had not wanted to believe those who had seen Him, the Risen One.

 

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the new message from the realm of the angels to the whole of creation. Whoever unites his heart with it [believes] and is immersed in me [baptized] will attain salvation. But whoever closes himself against it [does not let the power of selflessness into his heart, or, does not let the power of My Self into his heart] will meet his downfall. And spiritual powers [these signs] will stand by those who [believe] unite themselves with it and will attend their path: Through the power of my being [in my name] they will drive out demons; they will speak a new language; serpents they will make upright, and poisons they are given to drink will not harm them. They will lay their hands on the sick and give healing forces to them.

 

Easter Sunday

April 12, 2020

Mark 16: 1-18

 

In the week before His death, Christ Jesus said “unless a kernel of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24

 

At His crucifixion, the living power of Christ’s blood entered the earth to keep it alive. And His body was placed into a cave in the earth, the earth’s communion. He, the great Light-Seed, died into the earth.

 

On Holy Saturday, like a seed, he rooted himself firmly into the earth, descending to the dead.

 

On Easter morning, the first new shoots of His new Life broke forth from underground. New Life, capable of reproducing itself infinitely, began to grow.

 

This happens again every year.

 

At Ascension, He will open himself wide to the cosmos, while still remaining connected to the earth. And so this new Life will blossom again into the whole world. At Pentecost, His manifold light-seeds will fall into the hearts of those who love him.

 

And now, today, we rejoice because new Life is flashing forth from death. It is emerging from its apparent demise; it flares up from the ground of our hearts. The Light-Seed is quickening in the earth, in us. For today, as the poet says,

 

Every man, plant and creature in Existence,

Every woman, child, vein and note

Is a servant of our Beloved –

 

A harbinger of joy,

The harbinger of

Light.*

 

*Hafiz, “Guardians of His Beauty”, in The Subject Tonight is Love — versions by Daniel Ladinsky

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