Homily for Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
27 March 2016
Oh don't you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me
I said you're holding back
She said shut up and dance with me
This woman is my destiny
She said (Ooo Ooo)
Shut up and dance with me
"Okay," you're probably thinking, "Father Rob has lost it if he's singing Walk the Moon lyrics." Or you may be asking, "What does that song have to do with Easter?" Well, maybe nothing . . . or maybe a lot.
In this night / On this day, the Church is the one calling us to "shut up and dance" with her. She does so because her Bridegroom is risen from the dead, and she wants us to rejoice! In this night / On this day, she beckons us like a lover, seduces us like the sirens of the ancient myths to enter into the complete and total ecstasy and joy of the Glory of the Resurrection.
As the song says, "We were victims of the night . . ." Yes, we were. In the night of darkness of sin, we allowed ourselves to be moved by our desires, our wants, our needs. Yet, as victims of THIS night / LAST night (the Easter Vigil), this is where she tells us to "dare [not] look back" and to "keep [our] eyes on [her]." For if we look back, we can't appreciate the joy of the Risen Lord. Keeping our eyes on her, the Church will always lead us to Christ, just as the Blessed Mother does.
This is the night / day, then, that the Bride takes our arm, leads us to the cosmic dance floor, and rejoices with us in the wedding feast of her and her Risen Bridegroom. Yet, she and the Lord continuously desire for us to fall passionately in love with her. "Deep in her eyes" we can "see the future." Just as we feel it as we gaze deeply into the eyes and Heart of Christ in prayer and adoration - just as we will in a short while at the consecration -, so as we gaze deeply into the beauty of the Church, we can see our future, for, truly, "this woman is [our] destiny."
The Resurrection gives us permission to dance, to rejoice. This is the feast of victory for our God! Our "Alleluia!" becomes the song, the dance, the life, the future that we enter into. As Saint Augustine of Hippo and Saint John Paul II remind us: We are an Easter people, and "Alleluia" is our song.
The Church beckons us, seduces us into the "Alleluia" because it is there that we continuously, passionately, and totally fall in love with our God. She invites us to "shut up and dance" with her because the more we gaze upon her beauty, truth and goodness, the more we stop worrying about the past and enjoy the promises that the Resurrection brings about. The "Alleluia" is the primal call of the Christian; it is the song of consummation of the Church.
This is the night / day, then, when that happy fault, that necessary sin of Adam brings forth for us so great a Redeemer. It is the time when Heaven is wedded to Earth, and we are reconciled to God. This is the night / day when the light of Christ illumines the darkness of the world, and invites us onto the dance floor, knowing that "we were bound together to be together" for Christ and His Church for all time and eternity.
This is the night / day where we need to simple "shut up and dance": Dance with the Bride and Bridegroom, with Christ and His Church in the ecstasy and joy of the Resurrection - that eternal Dance by which you and I share in the promises of Christ through Word and Sacrament. This is the night / day where you and I are seduced into the "Alleluia" - a call, a sigh which is ever ancient and ever new. This is the night / day when we rejoice, for this is the Feast of victory for our God.