Easter Sunday 2015
Good morning! Alleluia! He is risen! Happy Easter! I begin my homily today with an interview. A journalist decided to track down survivors of suicide attempts on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The reporter asked them what was going on in their minds during the last 4 seconds of the fall. All of them responded that they regretted their decision to jump, with one saying, “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable, except for having jumped.”
Thirty years after the suicide attempt, that man-Kenneth Baldwin-is still alive. He raised a family and became a teacher. He has great words for all of us, especially young people: “Everything I thought was unfixable is totally fixable.”
Mr. Baldwin’s words might also describe the way the disciples felt on the first Easter morning. After all, they had followed Jesus for several years, listened to His powerful teachings, and seen His amazing works. Now it had all fallen apart. Of course, they carried some guilt. They had all run away, and had abandoned the man who had done everything for them. One had the courage to go back and stand with Jesus, but two of them-Peter and Judas- betrayed Jesus with acts of cowardice and greed. Sadly, one of the two gave into despair and committed suicide.
Easter morning began in darkness and guilt. However, the resurrection changed all that. Things that were thought to be unfixable became fixable. This did not happen instantaneously. It took a process of about fifty days until Pentecost-and beyond. This was when the disciples really learned what it meant to be a disciple.
This Easter, I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to join me in learning what it really takes to be a disciple. We will learn about becoming people who are disciple makers-people who are willing to share their faith, talk to others about what God the Father, Jesus, and the sacraments mean to them, and invite others to come to our parish. Right now, we do have some people who are very good at that, but we want to grow that number. In the coming weeks, you and I will explore what it means to become an
I must admit that I am not always good at being a disciple. After all, there is a lot of “quiet desperation”. This can be seen in the increase of drugs, pornography, and violence in this community. For some of you, these things may be present in your homes and neighborhoods. Remember this-there is hope. A lasting hope. A hope that comes from the man who “went around doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil.” That man was put to death on a tree, and his cross became the tree of life. The man whose death seemed totally unfixable. But it is Jesus who makes the unfixable fixable.
Many people today are disillusioned because of suffering. Many people sitting in this church today may be experiencing great suffering and despair in their own families. Like the disciples on that first Easter morning, you may feel that things are “unfixable.” My friends, hear this: there is hope, and that hope comes from Christ himself. If you really need that hope right now, come back next weekend. Join me and learn what it means to be a disciple-and a disciple-maker- of Jesus. If you do this, you will begin on the path to true hope.