Truly Alive – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet Nguyen’s Homily April 4, 2021

“I don’t know about you, but this is a glorious day for me. Not only that, even walking in and seeing the water in the font. I don’t know, there was something there, a visceral feeling, the plants…and then I realized that that font has been empty for not just the season of Lent, it’s been empty for over a year and that is the great feeling the hope and really the life of the resurrection that I feel even in that font that it’s been deserted in some ways for so long now, dry, and just to see the water flowing, there’s something there isn’t there? There’s something there.

Have you ever had a feeling of such great joy in your life that you started crying? You know what I’m talking about? Maybe you’ve seen it in movies or maybe you see a mother who lost her child in a crowd and then she sees them, they find them and she hugs her child and starts crying. What is that? Why is it that we cry with such great joy? Such great joy in your life, why is there tears? Someone said once that the reason why we cry is that yes, we feel the great joy of receiving, but also we have realized the great pain that we could have lost. At that very moment you experience the loss, but also the gaining. In that moment you realize the full value before you that you could have lost the son or daughter, but now you have found them and there’s great joy in that. It’s actually the full realization of what is before you and that’s the great joy of the resurrection, but not only what we could have lost, but we’ve seen it. We’ve seen in through the Passion that Christ died, but now he is risen and to have the joy is to experience the death of Christ, also now to realize he is risen. Did you know that everything Jesus spoke in the scriptures, his whole life and even his death on the cross would have been forgotten by now, but it would have meant nothing, nothing without today, nothing without this celebration of the resurrection. It would mean nothing if Jesus did not rise from the dead. He would have been one prophet among many. He would have been just another person in the history books, but he has risen and as we go through this Easter season we will see in the scriptures what that means for the Apostles, but what does that mean for us in our lives. What is the hope of the resurrection in your own life? The hope of the resurrection is to know that death is not the end. Pain and suffering and death are not the end. In death, it’s not the end, but things have just changed. We’ll see even in the Gospel we start to see glimpses of the glorified body of Christ. He is before his apostles or Mary Magdalene and they see someone is there, but they do not know it’s him. We see in the upper room later on that he can walk through walls. This is all meant for us as well. You see, the substance is Christ. The accidents have changed, so Christ is truly there, but he looks like someone else, but for us in our everyday life we do celebrate the resurrection. The resurrection is in the Eucharist. The Eucharist we receive is the resurrected Christ. The substance changes. It is Jesus Christ, but the accidents stay the same. It looks like bread and wine and when we receive him we do receive Jesus wholly and that’s the great hope for us that as we have Christ in our life there’s nothing we need to be afraid of that the hope we feel, the hope we felt just seeing water gives us a glimpse of hope within your own life and that’s what pulls us through each day that Christ isn’t just in the history books, but he is truly alive today, truly alive within your own hearts, truly alive in the world, but truly alive before us in the Eucharist, always before us in the Eucharist.

So as you come to receive Christ who is truly present before you in the Eucharist let us have the strength and the courage to sing hallelujah to say that Christ is truly risen and let him into your lives to nurture and sustain you today and every other day. Amen.”