News This Good
Homily for Monday within the Octave of Easter
Preached on April 5, 2010 at Holy Spirit Parish/The Newman Center at the University of Kentucky, Lexington KY
Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Psalm 16:1-2a, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; Matthew 28:8-15
I wonder whether The New York Times—if it were around in the first century—would have reported on the Resurrection cover up orchestrated by the chief priests and the elders of the city (cf. Mt. 28:11-15). If it tried to, I am pretty sure that the editors would have checked their sources first. Unfortunately, they would have found out that none of the guards would have been willing to snitch on this criminal conspiracy. The guards had gotten their hush money and all of them were sticking with their ‘stolen body story’ (cf. Mt. 28:12-15). Any other scoop out there would have sounded like the hysterics of mourning Marys or the fables of Galilean fishermen. The editors would have dismissed the witness of the women as an old wives’ tale. They would have deemed the reports of the disciples as the delusions of desperate men. Christ’s Resurrection would have been treated as a piece on the missing corpse of a mistaken Messiah, a morbid item on page six that just was not as newsworthy as the scandals of imperial Rome.
And yet, some twenty centuries later, it is this same story of the empty tomb that has endured in the memories of men. It is this story of Christ Risen from the dead that fuels our Easter celebration, giving joy to the joyless, hope for the hopeless, and faith to the faithless. This story has endured and spread because it is the Good News and News this Good cannot be made up and will not be covered up. News this Good begs to be shared and remembered, preached and proclaimed, circulated and celebrated.
The sentries and the Sanhedrin tried to kill this story once before. Yet, the Good News remains true for all times: “Christ indeed from death is risen” (cf. Victimae Paschali Laudes). Alleluia!