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Easter Sermon, April 21, 2019

“Happy Easter, Felices Pascuas! St. Mark’s is a multicultural church, where we say Happy Easter to each other in several languages. In Spanish, Happy Easter is Felices Pascuas. The literal translation is “Happy Easters,” plural. And this makes sense, because Easter is not just one day but a season of 50 days, the 50 Great Days of Easter. The number 50 is a representation of perfection – and for those who are turning 50 this year, it is a special year indeed. 50 is derived from 7 times 7, seven being the number for fullness, but not just one seven, but seven sevens, plus one, the cherry on top!

Knowing that Easter is a 50-day celebration, not just one day, can change our reality. Lent was a season of 40 days, Easter is 50. What we celebrate today, this first Sunday of Easter, cannot be contained in one day. Even 50 days is not enough to contain Easter, which is a daily reality, a lifelong journey. St. Augustine wrote, “We are an Easter people.” Easter defines us, resides at our core and remains with us.

The task of the Easter season is twofold: to remember and to make meaning from what we are remembering. Who remembers Fr. Victor’s sermon two weeks ago? (only a few hands are raised…) Remembering takes work. Ironically, in his sermon, Victor talked about what remembering is, which he said isn’t just recalling information but making things present here and now. As the Gospel of Luke tells us, there were half a dozen or more women who had followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem. They were with Jesus when he taught, healed and proclaimed the Kingdom of God. He had told them several times that the Son of Man, that he, Jesus, would be crucified and on the third day, rise again. Why then, on the third day, Easter morning, did they go to the tomb? Why did they bring spices, which are meant for a dead body, not a risen one?” To read the sermon in full, please click here.