April 25, 2011

Easter Homily by Father Butler


He is Truly Risen

Fr. Rene Butler

Have you ever noticed how repetitious the Psalms sometimes are? For example, Psalm 117 is only two verses long and the first verse says the same thing twice, in different words: "Praise the LORD, all you nations! Give glory, all you peoples!"

Here is another example from Psalm 27: "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom do I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom am I afraid?"

This same kind of repetition occurs often in the Prophets.

The reason is simple: this is poetry, and one of the most important aspects of poetry in any language is the imaginative use of language to say the same things in many different ways. Here are some examples from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: "She doth teach the torches to burn bright!","What light from yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."

Shakespeare gives Romeo numerous opportunities to say, "Ain't she gorgeous!" but always in different words.

At Easter each year the Pope gives Easter greetings in many languages. Most of them say much the same as in English: "Happy Easter." But there are two others that say it differently.

The Polish version is "Wesolego Alleluja!" which means, [I wish you a] "Happy Alleluia!" How beautifully this expresses the spirit of the feast.

The best, however, is the Greek: One person says, "Chrystos aneste," and the other answers, "Alethos aneste." This means: "Christ is risen - He is truly risen."

At Christmas we are often reminded that "Jesus is the reason for the season." Easter reminds us that Jesus is the reason - period! The reason for everything that we say and do as Christians, the reason for the magnificent music and beautiful flowers, for our coming together to worship. All this is for one reason and one reason only: Christ is risen! He is truly risen!

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