HOMILY: Standing on the Threshold

Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World prior to a given Sunday. To see the archive of all his posts, just click hereSalesian Sermons

Easter Sunday, Year A | April 20/21, 2014

PROTIP: Before reading on, be sure to take a look at the Sunday readings here

This past summer, my youngest brother Stephen got married.

It was quite an event, as you can imagine.  It was my first family wedding as a priest.  And my middle brother Kevin was going to be the best man.

The day of the ceremony, I found myself in the sacristy with just my two brothers.  We were joking with each other, reminiscing about a lifetime worth of memories and moments.  And there was suddenly a part of me that did not want that moment to end.

For I didn’t quite know what life would be like after he was married.  All I knew is that it would no longer be the same.  My life, my family was about to change.  I would have to change.

I couldn’t help but think of that moment as I was reading this Gospel.  Because I must admit I saw myself in the “other disciple” in today’s Gospel.  The one who stands on the threshold of the tomb, but hesitates to go in.

Here he was faced with the glory of the Resurrection.

And yet he still hesitates.

He is still unsure.

Here I was faced with the blessing of a new sister who would enrich my life in countless ways.  Here I was standing on the cusp of something new and wonderful with my family.

And yet I still hesitated.

I was still unsure.

See, I believe that If we are honest with ourselves, we can all resonate with the experience of that disciple.

For we all have those moments in which we stand on the threshold of something new.  Something beyond our expectations.

And yet a part of us is scared to cross the threshold.  Afraid of what our new world will look like.  Afraid of the change that is coming.  Afraid of what might now be asked of us.

We cling to the false security that our comfortable routines bring us.  We plunge into nostalgia for a past period in our life.  We ask ourselves, wouldn’t it be easier if things never changed?

If boo-boos could still be healed with a Band-Aid and a mother’s kiss?

If we could still believe that our parents would never disappoint us.  That our friends would always be there for us.  That the Church would always be a welcoming, safe place for us.

If our faith could remain as innocent and pure as it was during our childhood.  When somehow we weren’t faced with the troubling questions that come with age. . . like Why?  Or Where are you?  Or Why don’t I feel you anymore?  When we didn’t have the doubts or the distractions.

Like the disciple, we too can avoid facing the future.  We can have our moments in which we want to stop time or turn back the clock.

But if anything, Lent has been the poignant reminder that we cannot run away from life.

Over the past forty days we have been reminded of the truth that Jesus was truly betrayed.  He was really abandoned.  He definitely died forsaken on a wooden cross.

The Resurrection does not erase any of that.  It transforms it through the power of the Spirit!

And in turn, celebrating the Resurrection will not turn back the clock in our own lives.  It will not stop time.  It will not prevent us from changing.

It will not take away the betrayals and the wounds we have suffered.  It will not erase the legacy of our past mistakes.

But it will transform them.

It will allow us to walk across the thresholds of our lives without hesitation or fear.  To embrace the new, the unknown, the potential, the possibility.

It will allow us to accept the new life that is constantly breaking forth in our lives.  In relationships that are deepened and rebuilt, rekindled and ignited.  In opportunities that are taken and seized.  In moments that take our breath away and memories that warm our hearts long after they are made.  In how we slowly become a new person, a better person, a holier person.

For it is the power of the Spirit at work in our lives that allows us to approach our graduation day with confidence in the future that we are creating.

It is the power of the Spirit at work in our lives that allows us to say I do to the ups and downs, the hills and valleys that come with sharing life with another.

It is the power of the Spirit at work in our lives that allows us to pick up and move to a new city, a new job, a new life.

It is the power of the Spirit at work in our lives that allows us to embrace the responsibility that comes with shaping a child’s life.

It is the power of the Spirit at work in our lives that allows us to begin anew when we are faced with failure, disappointment, and the seeming finality of death.  When the one we loved goes before us and we are left to pick up the pieces.

Are we ready my friends to say Amen to the power of the Spirit that is already at work in our lives?

Knowing that it will lead us into new and uncharted waters.

That it will shake us to the core, dashing all of our plans and our preconceived notions of how life should be.

That it will change us forever.

Are we ready to truly celebrate Easter?

Happy Feast Day, my friends.  Here’s to crossing the threshold together 

May God be Praised.

Image courtesy of http://www.cruzblanca.org/hermanoleon/


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