A special thank you this week to our friends from St. Benedict Parish, St. Ailbe Parish, St. Joachim Parish, St. Felcitas Parish, all in Chicago in the congregation.

Third Sunday of Easter Homily

There is a Church in Sweden and many visitors stop by this Church to visit and what they marvel at when they go into the Church is that the big crucifix, the very large life size crucifix of Jesus is not behind the altar, but actually, it is next to the main entrance of the Church, where everyone walks in. There’s a legend behind why that is, and here’s the legend.

Legend has it that the Pastor was preaching, was preaching to the congregation and in walks a King. They say it was Charles the 12th. That Charles the 12th happened to come in while the Preacher was preaching and the Preacher put aside his Homily and he started recounting all the gifts and all the glory of the King to the congregation instead of preaching about Jesus.

The legend says that three days later, after the King visited this Church in Sweden, he sent the life size image of Jesus with the command and the order that the crucifix must be placed opposite the Preacher so that the Preacher never forgets who he should be talking about. Don’t you like that legend? Isn’t that a good legend?

I thought of that legend when I was reflecting on scripture today because at the end of the Gospel, as Jesus is recounting all that had happened up and to his death and resurrection, he reminds his listeners that they are witnesses of all that had happened. That if witnesses then we’re all called to testify. If we are witnesses of all that happened in Jesus’ life and death and resurrection, then we’re also called to testify to the good news. We know deep in our hearts, our firm belief is that Jesus was sent to us, that Jesus walked our walk and talked our talk, that Jesus suffered and died. But he didn’t stay dead. Jesus rose from the dead and visited his disciples and we here today, shared with his disciples the good news of the resurrection. So we’re called to be witnesses and to testify.

In fact, Cardinal Cupcih is inviting us to a time of renewal. And that invitation to be … to testify to all that we know of Jesus is part of that renewal. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, that we’re told as kids never to talk about politics or religion. Well, if that’s the case, how will we ever testify to Jesus? We’re called to testify, share our faith. If we think that any kind of renewal’s gonna happen in our world, in our city, in our family, we have to share how Jesus comforts us, how Jesus supports us, always.

You know, people in my family and people in the Parishes where I serve, know that I had a dog for 13 years, and then just a few months ago my dog passed away. Jesus’ love and support for me changed and transformed my grief into gratitude. I can only testify that it was Jesus who changed that grief, from grief to gratitude for her in my life for 13 years. Jesus has impacted our life and we’re called to testify to it.

Just to end, and in conclusion. I encourage you to go see a movie about how Saint Paul testified to Jesus. It’s been out now for about a month and I really encourage you to go see Saint Paul, An Apostle of Jesus. Saint Paul testified to Jesus. We’re all called to be testified, to be witnesses, to testify to the good news of Christ.