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Easter Sermon 2012

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

We can look at the entire history of the human race and God’s plan of salvation in Christ – from its beginnings with Adam and Eve up until its consummation with Our Lord’s Second Coming – as a Divine-human drama, written by God, which unfolds according to His magnificent design; for God, Who is All-Knowing, All-Wise and outside of time, sees the past, present and future in His Eternal Vision of all things. As He revealed to us through Moses: “I AM WHO AM.”

We can call the drama “divine,” not just human, because thehigh point, the central event in the entire drama is the Incarnation and Redemption: God becomes man while remaining God. He, the Son, who was pure Spirit for all eternity with the Father and the Holy Spirit entered into time to take a human nature, in order to be able to suffer and die, and thereby to redeem us from our sins and restore us to friendship with God.

The drama began, as we know, with the creation of Adam and Eve and their Fall from grace. But this sin of Adam was “necessary,” asSt. Augustinetells us, in order that we should receive so great a Redeemer. Right from the beginning God promised a Savior, and his loving plan of salvation, the great drama, began to unfold with a series of covenants. God made a covenant with Abraham and began to form His Chosen People with him and his descendants, one of whom would be Jesus Christ.

Next, God made a covenant with Moses, the man He chose to lead His Chosen People out of slavery inEgypt. Under this covenant, God spared the firstborn sons of the Israelites. The angel of death passed over their homes because they killed the Passover Lamb, sprinkled its blood on their door posts, and then ate the roasted flesh of the lamb – that lamb which was a symbolic prefigurement of the True Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, Jesus Christ.

Over the centuries the drama continued to unfold with the Prophets whom God sent to His people – like Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, who foretold the coming of the Messiah:

that the Christ would be the Son of the Most High God, and a King descended from the line of David, and who would be born of a virgin (the Virgin Mary);

that this Messiah-King, God and man, would institute a New and Eternal Covenant by the shedding of His blood;

that He, the Innocent Lamb, would suffer and die in atonement for our sins, but that His body would not see corruption, He would rise from the dead;

AND the Prophets foretold that the Christ, the Anointed One of the Father, would give a “new heart” to all those who believe in Him and are baptized and live by His teachings, thereby freeing us from slavery to sin and Satan, and giving us hope of eternal life in the Kingdom and resurrection from the dead in bodies glorified on the Last Day when Christ comes again in glory – provided we eat His Flesh & drink His Blood; for as Jesus says, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting, and I will raise him up on the last day” (Jn. 6:55). Yes, the Holy Eucharist is truly the pledge of our future resurrection in bodies glorified at the end of the world, because the Eucharist is the risen, glorified Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is the night [day] we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. Let us rejoice! Let us sing with all the Church the Easter hymn of praise, for Jesus, Our Lord, our God & our King, is Risen!

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