Bishop Edward U. Kmiec
“Imagine on a Sunday morning, going to visit the grave of a loved one, and finding the tombstone gone, and a hole in the ground where the coffin once lay.” In his homily for the Easter Sunday Televised Mass produced by Daybreak TV Productions of the Diocese of Buffalo, Bishop Edward U. Kmiec asks us to ponder that thought.
Our emotions, he suggests, would be outrage, anger and grief. “You would feel as if you had lost your loved one all over again.”
Mary Magdalene, Peter and John, no doubt, had those feelings on the first Easter Sunday morning. Their confusion was “transformed into wonder, their grief into joy, and their fear into faith,” the bishop said. “The Resurrection does not bring new life only to Jesus, but also to those who believe in Him. They are transformed into new women and men.”
Recorded in The Lady Chapel of St. Joseph Cathedral, the Mass, which will air at 7:30 a.m. on Fox 29 WUTV in Buffalo on Easter Sunday (April 24), will be rebroadcast later in the week on Time Warner Cable throughout Western New York.
“The new life of Jesus’ Resurrection is a reality in our own lives. So many of us lived with constant confusion, grief and fear. The direction of our lives was a mystery to us. We lived from day to day, not knowing, and often not caring, about the purpose of our existence. We knew something was missing, but could not put our finger on what that something was.”
It wasn’t something that was missing from our lives, the bishop said, but Somebody. “It was Jesus. The faith we received at baptism, and which was taught to us throughout our childhood, began making sense to us. We abandoned fear and confusion for faith. The Resurrection of Jesus became a reality for us.”
Bishop Kmiec celebrates the Sunday Televised Mass twice a year for Daybreak, on Easter Sunday and the Fourth Sunday of Advent. It is part of his extensive public schedule during the 40 days of Lent, the triduum, culminating with his celebration of Easter Sunday Mass at 10:30 a.m.
Holy Week for the bishop began on Palm Sunday with the 10:30 a.m. Mass.
The Chrism Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., highlighted by the renewal of the commitments diocesan and religious order priests made at their ordinations, as well as the presence of catechumens who will join the Church in full Communion at the Easter Vigil in parishes throughout the diocese.
The bishop presided over the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday at 7 p.m., the Good Friday Service of the Lord’s Passion at noon and the Easter Vigil on Saturday at 8 p.m. All Masses will be at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo.
As we celebrate Easter, Bishop Kmiec noted that God’s work is just beginning.
“Our world is still under the dark spell of confusion, grief and fear.” He said we must carry the message of Jesus’ Resurrection to those in despair.
“The Resurrection becomes real in our lives when we exchange fear, grief and confusion for faith, joy and conviction. Having experienced the Risen Lord through faith, we are now sent out to be His witnesses. We do not fear because God is with us.”
The bishop concluded his homily with a blessing for all: “May God bless you and all of your loved ones with the fullest measures of Easter joy and the peace that only our Risen Lord can provide.