Did you know that the events on Easter Sunday show forth the absolute primacy of Christ? Fr. Sean Kopczynski, MSJB, delivered a most awe-inspiring homily on this subject in one of his recent sermons. Listen to the homily (HIGHLY recommended – less than 15 minutes).
Fr. Kopczynski was gracious enough to give me permission to post his homily notes as well. While the notes are helpful for remembering his key points, they are no substitute for listening to the homily itself. Here are his notes…
Easter Sunday and the Primacy of Christ
“…very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the
sepulcher, the sun being now risen…”
1. Our Blessed Lord rose on the morning of the first day of the week just
before dawn. The Psalms speak of this as Our Lord arousing the dawn… “I
will rise up early” (cf. Psalm 56:9). This fact and many others that
occurred on Easter Sunday symbolize His absolute primacy. This absolute
primacy basically means … when God contemplated creation He wanted
first and foremost to join Himself to Creation in a Hypostatic Union. This
He would do in Christ. He did this because such a Union with His creation
would bring Him the most glory and He would be perfectly known and
loved in His Creation by the Christ. Thus, St. Paul tells us that He is “the
first born of all Creation.” A summary of the Scripture: “Christ yesterday
and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega, all time belongs
to Him and all the ages, to Him be glory and dominion, through every age
forever. Amen.” (prayer over Easter Candle from the 1955 ritual). St.
Peter: “Foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but
manifested in the last times for you…” (1 Pet 1:20).
2. What is more, God would make all things through Him and for Him such
that He would have the primacy in everything. God made Him the
Exemplar Cause… the Blueprint. In order for the Christ to come at the
fullness of time, God then willed at the same time, in “one and the same
decree” that He have a Mother. Thus, the second born of all creation, we
could say, is Our Lady. They were both willed by God before the angels
and man and all the rest of creation (here describe the famous image of
Adam’s creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). This is one reason
why Our Lady is without any sin (original or actual). Along with the
Christ, She was willed before the angels as well as before Adam and his sin. This
is why Our Lord and Our Lady had to come to our rescue… because being
without sin, they were the only ones free to save us from sin. This is
sometimes called the “Dual Primacy.”
3. I am bringing this up because Easter Sunday encapsulates these truths in
a remarkable way. He rose before the dawn of the morning of the first
day of the week. Thus, David says in the Psalms, “from the womb before
the day star I begot Thee” (Ps 109:3)… before the first day of Creation
when the light first dawned on the world, God willed Him. Since all things
were somehow made through Him… He had to be in the mind of God first
as the EXEMPLAR Cause of all things. This truth is indicated by the TIME
of His Resurrection. It is saying, since man fell away from the first
creation… God will re-create with the Christ through Whom all things were
made. Thus, we sing of Him as the Morning Star in the Exsultet.
4. Next consider that He rose without anyone around. All was done in
hiddenness… just as things were done before the foundation of the world.
This also shows that there is a deep mystery here. Then what did He do?
He passed out of the tomb without opening it.
5. His Majesty, Jesus the Savior, went to visit the Blessed Virgin Mary
immediately upon coming out of the tomb. He saluted His Mother, saying,
“Peace be with you.” Shedding tears of joy, the Virgin knelt to adore Him,
kissing His hands and feet and saying: “O Blessed Wounds, which have
caused me so much suffering.” O what consolations He must have
bestowed on her. O what a meeting that must have been! Here is the
sign “deep as the nether world.” Our Lady’s prayers brought our Savior
out of the sky and up from the nether world.
6. Why do the Gospels remain silent about this meeting? For one, many
would not be willing to believe the testimony of a mother in regard to her
son… And another reason is that Our Lady asked this to remain hidden. It
was a precious moment…that is best left veiled in mystery and wonder.
7. See how this first visit fits with the dual primacy of Christ and Our Lady?
She comes next! He had to visit her first! This is one reason why she too
is called the Morning Star along with Our Lord. This is one reason why
Saturday belongs to Blessed Mary… she kept vigil on that day, praying.
8. Then what happened? Angels came and opened the tomb. After God
willed the Christ and His Mother, He then willed the angels. The angels
came with the dawn of creation… made first and foremost to glorify Him
and serve His Body the Church… They were made for Him. Thus, at the
dawn of the first day of the week they came and rolled back the stone
and the devils were cast down in defeat. As the Lord Himself points out,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of
God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
9. Then there is the coming of the women and the men who were born in
sin…symbolizing Adam and Eve. There was Mary Magdalene, Mary,
Salome… Peter, John, the Apostles, and the disciples (Road to Emmaus)
with the paralyzed soldiers representing the unbelievers or those still in
their sin. See how Re-Creation parallels Creation! How wonderful is the
Plan of God!!!
10. What does all this mean for us? (i) Easter shows us that first and
foremost all is for Christ. Is He first in our lives? Do we start our
mornings with Him… the first thought out of our minds? Do we start all
works with Him? Clearly this is why the Church obliges us under pain of
grave sin to start our week with Him in attending Mass on Sunday… every
week without exception.
11. (ii) When we make Christ the center of our lives in every way possible,
we must include Our Lady. They are inseparable. Are we devoted to her?
Do we pray her Rosary everyday as she so kindly requested at Fatima
and Lourdes? She is our Mother. Do we love her? Have we consecrated
ourselves to her? Wherever she goes, she always brings Our Lord with
her. Give yourself to her Immaculate Heart and all will go well.
12. Let us keep in mind as a way to remember these important truths that
JOY spells Jesus-Others-Yourself. If we put Our Lord first and ourselves
last, Easter Joy will be truly ours. “Christ yesterday and today, the
beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega, all time belongs to Him and all
the ages, to Him be glory and dominion, through every age forever.