Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord
Jn 20:1-9
April 17, 2022

If you don’t use it…you lose it!

That has certainly proven to be the case with the Spanish language which I worked so hard to master while in college. I was quite proud of the level of fluency I had achieved. Of course, I was making a conscious effort to learn and speak a “foreign language” so that I could graduate. It was a requirement.

But…if you don’t use it…you lose it! I didn’t, and I did…for the most part anyway.

However, on the 5th Sunday of Lent, I went to Mass at a primarily Hispanic parish. The Second Reading was Philippians 3:8-14. It was proclaimed in Spanish. In spite of the slow, deliberate, and highly reverent delivery of the lector, I could not understand a thing…except for this.

I heard and TOTALLY understood the words…muerta…esperanza…y Jesu Cristo.


And so I got the message!

That Lenten experience got me thinking how God the Father sent God the Son into this world to teach humankind a new language…RESURRECTION!

RESURRECTION was a way of communicating that in which the entire universe was already quite fluent. From seasons to flowers, from butterflies to stars, RESURRECTION has always been a way for nature to speak the truth, that death is not an end but a new beginning.

All of nature spoke, and continues to speak, this extremely beautiful and profound language of RESURRECTION…all of nature that is…except for humankind.

On Easter morning, those closest to the Risen Christ began to learn this new and revolutionary language of hope…and joy. The Apostles and disciples began with a few simple but extremely powerful words: HE IS ALIVE! HE IS RISEN!

From that morning on, with the help of The Risen Christ, they expanded their vocabulary, which was perfected on The Feast of Pentecost. The language began to spread across the ancient world. Some became quite fluent. Others came to understand it but could only manage a few words. There were those who heard it spoken but ignored it, making little effort to comprehend what was being communicated through RESURRECTION.

Finally, and tragically, a few committed to stamping out this wonderful “God Speak.” They worked hard to drown out the beautiful message with the vile and harsh language of VIOLENCE, WAR, INJUSTICE, PERSECUTION, HATRED…and INTOLERANCE…a brilliant way of speaking lies. I’m referring to a dark language which is very effective in communicating the opposite of RESURRECTION…sin and death.

This effort continues to this very day. Sadly, in recent weeks, it has become the lingua franca…or the common language…of Eastern Europe…and is spreading around the world with lightning speed.

In general, it seems that folks are simply not “using” and so it appears that we are “losing” RESURRECTION. But, unlike ancient languages from the distant past, RESURRECTION will not fade into history. The language of eternal life will not become a “dead language.”

Seasons and flowers, butterflies and stars will always speak the truth that death is not an ending but a beginning. THE HOLY SPIRIT continues to sing a beautiful hymn of RE-creation…that is the background music for life in this world. If, for whatever reason, we don’t use it…we cannot lose it…because on Easter morning, Jesus Christ made certain that LIFE will always have the last word.

It is SO much easier to exist when we know…even a few simple words of RESURRECTION…words like DEATH…HOPE…and JESUS CHRIST!

This Easter morning, recommit to becoming perfectly fluent in RESURRECTION. Master this language and speak it without a hint of accent…accents like doubt or fear. Speak it to whoever will listen…especially to children.

Start slowly…try it now…say it out loud…DEATH…HOPE…and JESUS CHRIST! Keep saying those words until they are part of your vocabulary…rolling off your tongue without a second thought…and soon you will move on to… HE IS ALIVE! HE IS RISEN!

Learn RESURRECTION…this God language of love, as if your very life depends on it…because it does!