Bishop’s Easter message: Think of what is above

Bishop Carl A. Kemme dips the Easter Candle into the baptismal font during the Easter Vigil service in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, thus blessing the water. (Advance photo)

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Bishop Carl A. Kemme urged his flock to “think of what is above” in his Easter Sunday homily delivered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

Restating St. Paul’s remarks to the Colossians, the bishop asked those in church and those watching via the internet to focus on heaven and not on the things of earth. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God,” he said quoting St. Paul. “When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.”

Bishop Carl A. Kemme, surrounded by several priests and deacons,celebrated the Easter Vigil Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. (Advance photo)

Easter is glorious not because of the nascent beauty of spring nor because Lent has passed, he said, but because the tomb of Jesus is empty.

“It is glorious because he has been raised and gone ahead of us. Christ triumphantly now reigns in glory, a glory that He promises, each and every one of us. And it is this promise of sharing in that glorious state of being that we call heaven, that will sustain us in this passing world.”

Bishop: Think of heaven, not earth

Bishop Kemme urged the faithful to think of the glory that awaits. “May our faith in the resurrection of Jesus permeate every aspect of life that we, too, will be among the countless witnesses down through the centuries, and until the end of time, who will proclaim: He has been raised! For this is the day the Lord has made.”

Bishop Kemme opened his homily by talking about Easter, an event that changed history, and about those involved in the Resurrection story.

Quoting a reflection by Bishop Robert Barron, Bishop Kemme said, ” The resurrection is the be-all and end-all of Christian faith. It is the still point around which everything Christian turns. It is the great nonnegotiable at the heart of our system of beliefs and practices.”

The works of the great writers, poets, artists, and saints of the church flow from the Resurrection, Bishop Kemme said.
“Without the Resurrection, none of it makes a bit of sense. So important friends is the Resurrection to our system of belief, to the purpose of our lives. This is what the Resurrection has inspired in just some of the church’s great witnesses. I ask you as I asked myself: What has the resurrection inspired in us?”

Let the Resurrection change you

Let the Resurrection make a difference in each of our lives, Bishop Kemme said, or the Resurrection makes no sense at all.
That witness as Christians is a gift we can give to the world, he said.

“The Resurrection gives a more reason to return next Sunday to worship again and keep holy the Christian sabbath and to reclaim Sunday as a day that belongs to the risen Christ,” he said. “Every Sunday is an Easter day and the church calls us to come and receive the Lord and the Eucharist every Sunday.”

The Resurrection is an invitation, Bishop Kemme said, in closing, because: “One day our tomb will be empty.”