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Homilies, 2004, Cycle-C

2004—Easter Vigil—C

 

Do you know what you're doing? If you were here on Thursday for the beginning of our Triduum, that was the question that our Deacon, Eric, told us he was asked by an elderly Jesuit whom Eric was about to plunge into waters for a bath. So tonight, Scot, before you are plunged into the baptismal waters, if you ask me, "Do you know what you're doing"?, I'll have to honestly say "not really! Now isn't that great, here we've brought you to watersedge, are about to immerse you in these baptismal waters and now, I tell you. I don't know what I'm doing! And I would even be so bold as to say, none of us does. Really know what we're doing. That doesn't mean we can't give you theological explanations, telling you about a new birth in Jesus Christ, how you become a member of a community of believers who find life and meaning in Jesus Christ. But do we really know what we are doing? Do we really understand the mind-blowing, soul-shattering power of this moment for us and for you? We can't even come close. For we are like those first believers, the first followers of Jesus who had their lives turned upside down when the Crucified one became the Risen One, when all of a sudden, God's spirit was breathing life where life was spent, exhausted.

Do you know what you are doing? Do you know that in the waters of baptism you are dying with Christ and rising with him as a new creation. Do you know that you are becoming a member of a Church community that is in need of intensive care. Its vital signs are almost unrecognizable. Do you know that what you are doing makes no sense! You are making the claim that you have seen the face of God and lived. You are making the claim that in all the suffering you have known in your own life and have seen in the lives of the children you serve, that there is ultimate meaning. And that meaning if found in God who is love. This God, who created all, who desires freedom for all, who loves us so unconditionally would dare to become flesh and blood in Jesus of Nazareth. And this Jesus would freely give his life in love that we might have eternal life? Nonsense! Nonsense? Sense the life here. In the music, in the story, in the dance. Sense the love here. In the community gathered, in the lives of us non-believing believers, in us with all our wounded humanity. Sense the Lord here. Calling you by name, Scot Luke. Calling you to the waters of new life. Come to the water, Come to the feast!

And Jessica, do you know what you are doing? I believe you do! Even if your parents and your godmother Carlisa brought you here, that smile and twinkle in your eye says. "I know what I'm doing" I believe that God is love and that Jesus is the way that God loves best!

 


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