from John 15:9-17 for
The 6th Sunday of Easter, Year B
First Posted for Sunday May 13, 2012
For the Homily, "In Koinonia with the Lord Jesus Christ,"
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!Today, the shadowed-dirge of Lent expires, revealing the snap of hope and the rousing rejoicing of new life! Today, after the 40 day renunciation of the self-life, which always pounds away so prominently in our hearts, comes the embrace of the promise of a new way to live!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”Peter and John rush to the grave, Peter
"went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place."
"also went in...and he saw and believed."What if I were to tell you, as provincial as it sounds, that all human history turned on that moment? What if I were to tell you that the backs of death and greed and grief were broken on the cold stone floor of that empty tomb? What if I were to tell you that the violent rebellion of sin was quelled in those empty, blood-stained burial cloths?
"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)Victory! Savor it for a moment. Before raising the inevitable objections, hold tight to the hum of its power -- Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? Don't let go, now, not yet, not until the old body of death we are wont to carry is lifted, if only for a moment, giving us temporary relief from the stench. For, you see, there is no stink of death in this tomb; the body is gone!
It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. When this happens -- when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die -- then at last the Scriptures will come true: "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (1 Corinthians 15:52-58)
"also went in...and he saw and believed."
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,One day the stone rolled away from the door;Then He arose, over death He had conquered;Now is ascended, my Lord evermore.
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,One day the skies with His glory will shine;Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;Buried, He carried my sins far away;Rising, He justified freely forever:One day He's coming, glorious day!
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
"Those who suffer from any contagious skin disease must tear their clothing and allow their hair to hang loose. Then, as they go from place to place, they must cover their mouth and call out, 'Unclean! Unclean!'" (Lv.13:45)
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha's house. 10 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: "Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of leprosy." 11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. "I thought he would surely come out to meet me!" he said. "I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the LORD his God and heal me! 12 Aren't the Abana River and Pharpar River of Damascus better than all the rivers of Israel put together? Why shouldn't I wash in them and be healed?" So Naaman turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his officers tried to reason with him and said, "Sir, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn't you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply to go and wash and be cured!" 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his flesh became as healthy as a young child's, and he was healed! 15 Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, "I know at last that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Now please accept my gifts." 16 But Elisha replied, "As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept any gifts." And though Naaman urged him to take the gifts, Elisha refused. 17 Then Naaman said, "All right, but please allow me to load two of my mules with earth from this place, and I will take it back home with me. From now on I will never again offer any burnt offerings or sacrifices to any other god except the LORD. (2 Kings 5:9-17)
"If you wish, you can make me clean."
"show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them."
"Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come."