1.Act 10: 34, 38-42
2. Colossians 3:1-4
Gospel: John 20:1-18

                             " Halleluiah, Praise the Lord!"

There is a little story told about a newly married couple who wanted that their future children be insured. So they called the insurance companies and instructed them to prepare the most comprehensive insurance coverage that they could offer. Three agents came and were trying to outdo each other. The first agent proposed: " We will insure your future children from the basket to the casket."

The second agent  not wanted to be outdone said: " We can do better. We can insure your future children from the delivery to the cemetery."
The third one again not wanted also to be outdone said: " We have the best offer. We can insure your future children from womb to tomb."

The wife was not satisfied. So she asked: Is there an all - embracing coverage that anyone of you could offer?" The three agents responded: " Yes, there is but only God provide that."
" What is it, " asked the husband. They chorused: " From conception to the resurrection."
Dear brothers and sisters no one can give a comprehensive assurance of our lives except God who secured us from conception to the resurrection and even until we become citizens of heaven. He did this to Jesus and for us. He said: " Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you,"( Jer.1:4-5). So we should be thankful for this.

We are reminded that every Easter Sunday ( especially during Easter Vigil)  Glory to God and Alleluia is being sung. When  Glory to God is sung, the bell is rung, we feel excited and we clap our hands because we are celebrating not a very ordinary celebration, but that God the Son is raised from the dead. This resurrection gives us hope that someday, just like Him, we too will rise from the dead and enter the Kingdom. That's why we sing alleluia to the Lord.

Alleluia is a Hebrew word which means " Thanks be to God" or " Praise God." As God's children, we keep on thanking God our Father for His wonderful works of mercy  and love. He gives us an assurance that one day we will be with Him in paradise and we will see Him face to face. We should be thankful to Him for this.

We should be thankful that through Christ's resurrection, it gives us the needed hope to courageously face life's challenge in spite of everything. That without the resurrection  our suffering would be meaningless, our belief in God would be nothing, our love would be fruitless and our death would be in vain. It is better not to be born anymore. This resurrection gives us unfailing hope in God's testament of love: We pass over from the bondage of Satan to the freedom of Christ, we pass over from an insecure world to the certainty of the Kingdom of God and we pass from mortal lives to the abiding presence of God. Thank God I am alive," a priest said in his homily. Again, we should be thankful for this.

We are also invited to be thankful that yet Jesus calls us His intimate friends in spite of what we have done. Just like what His apostles have done to Him. He did not accuse them of living Him alone in crisis. He gave them a chance to make up of their lives again because he knew them and us too to Him. He knows our fears, our doubts, our fragilities, our self-centeredness and our unfaithfulness. He knows our best and our worst moments, our ups and downs, our vulnerabilities, brokenness, stupidities, mistakes and hang-ups. He knows us fully and yet in spite of these, he loves us unconditionally. He really knows us from head to foot without any reservation  and still likes us and loves us so much.

Death is not the end of the story. Death is just an apostrophe in the course of life sentence. Life continues, there is more life sentences, as well as more chapter. Thus in the chapter story of Jesus we see Him  rise from the dead and in all glory and majesty. He is vindicated. His enemies are shamed and confused. Jesus regains his eternal glory with the Father. He is the Lord who will prevail over all humankind, his enemies being included. For us his embattled followers this is good news.

Surely it is good news to know that truth is immortal. We can suppress Truth, accuse it of being a lie, condemn it, torture it, kill it, bury it in the grave but on the third day Truth rise again. Remember this and do not give up on Truth even when everybody seems to give up on it. Do not give up on Truth; do not give up on Justice. Do not give up on doing what is right. True will always be true. Just will always be just. Right will always be right even when the world around us have it otherwise. We must learn to believe in the sun even when it is not shining, knowing that by and by it will shine again. It is the end of the story that counts. That's why the church asks us today to rejoice and be glad. Even when we are going through very difficult times: through betrayal, unjust discrimination, lies, misrepresentations; even when the enemy seems to be winning the battle in our lives. Today Christ has won. And we know that in Christ we shall overcome. Halleluiah, praise the Lord!

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Chapisha Maoni