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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Wellington defeated...

There's an excellent homily for Easter Sunday citing an old war story. Apparently, this message sent via light signals reached Allied Troops: "Wellington defeated..", referring to the duke of Wellington who went up against Napoleon. That naturally dismayed the people who were praying for Wellington's victory, but it was an incomplete message, the fog having obscured the light. Eventually, when the fog had lifted a bit, the entire message was relayed that "Wellington defeated the enemy."

What a difference two words can make, joked our parish priest, and that is correct. "Christ defeated.." was the message of Good Friday, as the darkness rolled in, obscuring the light. But as St. John writes, the darkness could not overcome it, so at Easter, the full message is revealed: "Christ defeated the Enemy". The mystery of our faith is no good to us if incomplete, and so we proclaim "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!" Christ died.. in order to destroy death, and so we proclaim "Dying, you destroyed our death. Rising, you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory!"

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