St Michael and All Angels

Observatory, Cape Town

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Low Sunday : Fr Tony Hogg

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 Today we continue to live the resurrection.
That is not always easy. There are days when we prefer to stay in bed, pull the 
covers over our heads, and close out the world. Some days it seems easier and 
safer to lock the doors of our house and avoid the circumstances and people of 
our lives.  Sometimes we may just want to run away, hide, and not deal with the reality of our lives.
Every time, however, we shut the doors of our life, our mind, or our heart we
 imprison ourselves. For every person, event, or idea we lock out, regardless of 
the reason we lock ourselves in. That’s what has happened to the disciples in 
the gospel today. It is Easter evening, the first day of the week, the day of the 
resurrection, the day they saw the empty tomb, the day Mary Magdalene 
announced, “I have seen the Lord.” The disciples are gathered in the house,
 the doors are locked with fear. A week later they are in the same place. It is 
the same house, the same walls, the same closed doors, the same locks. 
Nothing much has changed. Jesus’ tomb is open and empty but the disciples’ 
house is closed and the doors locked tight. The house has become their tomb. 
Jesus is on the loose and the disciples are bound with fear. The disciples have 
separated themselves and their lives from the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. 
Their doors faith has been closed. They have shut their eyes to the reality that 
life is now different. They have locked out Mary Magdalene’s words of faith, 
hope and love. They left the empty tomb of Jesus and entered their own tombs 
of fear, doubt, and blindness. The locked doors have become the great stone
 sealing their tomb. They have locked themselves in. Remember, my dears, 
that our tombs too are always locked from the inside. All this and it has only been one week.
I wonder, if one week after Easter, is our life different? Where are we living?
 In the freedom of the resurrection, or behind closed doors? How is our life 
different after Easter? And if it isn’t, what are the locked doors of our heart, our mind, our life?
When St. John describes the house, the doors, the locks, he is speaking about 
more than a physical house with walls, doors on hinges, and deadbolts. He is 
describing the inner condition of the disciples. The locked places of our lives
 are always more about what is going on inside of us than around us.
What are the closed places of our lives? What keeps us in the tomb? Maybe 
like the disciples, it is fear. Maybe it is questions, disbelief, or the conditions 
we place on our faith. Perhaps it is sorrow and loss. Maybe the wounds are so 
deep that it does not seem worth or while unlocking the door and stepping 
outside. For others it may be anger and resentment. Some may seem unable or 
unwilling to open up to new ideas, possibilities, and change.
But we all know that all is not lost, simply because of what happened a week
 ago and what happened in the locked room. Jesus is always entering the 
locked places of our lives .We may say that he is eastering us. Unexpected,
 uninvited, he steps into our closed lives, closed hearts, closed minds. Standing 
among us he offers peace and breathes new life into us. He doesn’t open the
 door for us but he gives us all we need so that we might open our own doors to a new life, a new creation, a new way of being. 
Regardless of the circumstances Jesus shows up bring peace, offering peace, 
embodying peace. Regardless of the circumstances Jesus shows up bringing 
life, offering life, embodying life. Life and peace are resurrection reality. They 
do not necessarily change the circumstances of our life and world. Tornados 
will still form, the hungry will still need to be fed, and loved ones will die. 
However, the life and peace of Jesus’ resurrection enable us to meet and live 
through these circumstances. His gives us his peace, his breath, his life, and 
then sends us out. We are free to unlock the doors of our lives and step outside
 into his life. Remember – strengthened by the knowledge of the sacrament we 
can go out echoing the familiar words:  ‘The mass is ended, go in peace.’ Now 
live in faith what you have received in faith and remember too that “We are 
the Easter people, and alleluia is our song.” Alleluia Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed. Alleluia!


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