Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 354 – You Are Witnesses – Easter Sunday

April 16th, 2017, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Easter“You know what has happened!” So Peter tells us in the first reading. Jesus has been raised from the dead. We’ve heard the reports. Peter and John both saw the empty tomb. We’re told that John “saw and believed.” So we’ve heard reports, the tomb is empty, and people have reported seeing Jesus alive. This is powerful stuff! Yet churches are not full on this Easter Sunday morning simply because of reports from 2000 years ago, or because there’s an empty tomb in Jerusalem. Each of us has, to some extent personally experienced the power of Jesus risen from the dead.

There is real power in the resurrection. It’s a power that caused the apostles and countless disciples after them to lay down their lives in testimony that they had seen Jesus risen from the dead. They are witnesses. But the scriptures also tell us today that WE are witnesses. How can this be? We have not seen the risen Lord like the apostles. Yet we can see what John saw. We can see the empty tomb and, like John, we can see and believe. We can believe because the witnesses are credible, but we can also believe because in a way each of us has seen the lord. We’ve experienced not just a story, but the real tangible power of Jesus in our lives.

Over one hundred thousand people became Catholic last night around the world. That’s a witness to power. They are willing to change their lives for the truth of this message. What about the rest of us? We too are witnesses. In fact we are the greatest witnesses there are. If we go out today and proclaim Jesus risen and that our lives must be different, we witness. But we also witness if we go out and do nothing, if we don’t even come back next week. That too witensses and says that really nothing happened here. The truth is, you ARE witnesses. But what kind of witness will you be?

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