by Fr. Tommy Lane
Newgrange in Ireland is one of the best known prehistoric tombs in the world. It is about 40 miles northwest of Dublin and was built about 3000 B.C. It is about 500 years older than the Great Pyramid at Giza. What is special about Newgrange is that every year on the Winter Solstice on December 21st as the sun rises its light shines through the 60 foot (18m) long passageway which leads into the central burial chamber. The tomb was built in such a way that at sunrise on the shortest day of the year the sun illuminates the central burial chamber for about seventeen minutes. Why was Newgrange built in this way? While no one knows for sure there has been speculation that the builders believed the sunlight would take the souls of the dead to the next life. We could say they were looking for Jesus and belief in the resurrection, and this was the closest they got to it. How blessed we are to know Jesus, the one whom they sought but did not yet know.
In the second reading from the letter to the Colossians we were reminded of our baptism,
you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:1-3)
Because of our baptism we have a glorious future ahead of us, we can share in the resurrection of Jesus. Therefore we are to “seek what is above” and not get lost in the things of this world; we are to “think of what is above, not on what is on earth” Because when you were baptized you began a new life in Christ, “for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
When Mary Magdalene could not find Jesus she said to Simon Peter and the Beloved Disciple, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him.” (John 20:2) Like Mary Magdalene search for the risen Jesus today and he will allow you to find him. Surely there is nothing better that the Lord would want than for you to find him. Search for the risen Jesus this Easter and meet the risen Jesus. For us, sharing in the resurrection of Jesus and meeting the risen Jesus is not just something we hope for in the future, it is also for us now. Jesus offers life now. The new life in the resurrection is for now. Don’t miss out on the offer of Jesus’ life to you now. Don’t waste life. Live life with Jesus. Live the life of Jesus now.
Those who built the burial tomb at Newgrange were looking for Jesus and his resurrection unknown to themselves. What a privilege for us that we believe in the resurrection of Jesus and celebrate it here today and thanks be to God for our baptism that through it we share in the resurrection of Jesus.
More homilies for Easter Sunday
Christ is Risen! 2011
Related Homilies: excerpts of funeral homilies
belief in the resurrection (excerpt of funeral homily)
cloth over Jesus’ head, The Sudarium