June 22, 2013

Homily for Easter Sunday, 2013

Fr. René J. Butler, M.S.
Director, La Salette Shrine
Enfield, NH

In 1927, a 33-year-old Belgian scientist published an article with this title: “A homogenous Universe with constant mass and increasing radius explaining the radial velocity of extragalactic nebulae.” In 1946 he published a book, Hypothesis of the Primeval Atom.

The scientist’s name was George Henry Joseph Edward Lemaitre. He was world famous and had many titles. He also had the title, “Father.” He was a Catholic priest.

His theory became, and still is, the predominant scientific explanation today of the universe as we know it. In1949, an English astronomer, Fred Hoyle, who disagreed with Fr. Lemaitre’s theory, was explaining the theory in order to show why he didn’t accept it. In so doing, he gave the theory the name by which it has been know ever since: “THE BIG BANG!”

We celebrate today another Big Bang, a totally different kind of Big Bang.

Like the other, it explains everything, not in the physical universe but in the Christian universe.

Without the physical big bang, there is no physical universe. It began with a “singularity,” immeasurably small. Imagine it—from virtually “nothing,” to everything! BANG!

Without the resurrection of Jesus, there is no Christianity.

St. Paul wrote to the Christians of Corinth: [H]ow can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised,  and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.  (1 Cor 15:12-19)

The “singularity” in this case is—the empty tomb! Emptiness is the sign, in a sense the source of the fullness of life. From this nothingness, everything!

Without the resurrection, there is no Christian faith, no Christian hope, no Christian love—no Christian life now, no eternal life hereafter, for us no life worth living. 

But Christ is Risen! That’s why we are gathered here. We have Christian faith, hope, love, life now and hereafter. Christ is Risen, and our life is worth living!


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