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Happy Easter, everyone. Christ is risen. Well, have you ever heard of an escape room? So, an escape room is this idea where you go with people that you like, your friends, your family, whoever that may be, and you’re locked into a room. And if there’s a 60-minute timer set and within 60 minutes you have to figure out how to escape from the room. And it’s done using clues. Sometimes there will be clues and you have to do with colors and lines. Other times it might be lock boxes that you need to open. There are all these different things that you need to do or tasks that you need to complete that will let you out of the escape room. I’ve done this a couple times and one of the times I did it with some friends of mine. They’re all girls, one of them, in fact two of the sisters are here today. It brings out all of your emotions. I’ve never seen two sisters fight so much as they did when they were trying to get out of that escape room with me. Sometimes I just found myself in the fetal position, laughing as hard as I could on the floor at the insanity that was happening. 

But the idea is that you have to work together and try to figure out the clues to get you out of the escape room. We are, in our lives, in an escape room. And along the way, from the very beginning in creation, as we heard all these different stories with seven different old Testaments, that meeting from Paul and the gospel, they’re all laced with clues to tell us. Really, they’re prophecies, about how God is going to save us from this death, from sin. And all the clues lead up to what they discover on that Easter Saturday evening, that Easter Sunday morning. And the final clue is the empty tomb. They get there, and Jesus, his body, is not there. 

And we know that He has risen from the dead. But in that moment, they were trying to figure it out. They saw that the stone rolled away. They saw some of the cloths that have been nicely folded up. There were all these clues that were being left for them. But it wasn’t until Jesus appeared to them in the resurrected form, in His resurrected body, that they were able to understand what had been revealed throughout all of Scripture. All those signs made sense in those moments of the resurrection account.

Since the very beginning of creation, all the signs that God had been giving to us made sense. For us, as we celebrate these Easter mysteries, we’re here because this makes sense to us. We know that the only way out of death is the resurrection. Each and every one of us might experience this in different ways. So, this might bring up anger within us. This might bring up fear within us, sadness within us, joy within us. We all might be here together at Easter, and[in] very different places in our lives with very different emotions. But we come here together because we have the answer. We know the way. And the way is Jesus.

Now, sometimes in escape rooms there are puzzles or mysteries that are there as what’s called a red herring. Do you guys know what a red herring is?  It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just there to waste your time. So, you’re in the escape room and you might be solving something and thinking it’s helping you and you realize in the end it’s just a waste of your time. In our lives there’s a lot of red herrings. There’s a lot of things in our lives that we think are important, things that waste our time and take up our time but don’t really help us get to the resurrection. This sacred night is the source and summit of our faith. Jesus sent his Holy Spirit upon us not only after He suffered, died, and rose.  He gave us the gift of the church, the body of Christ. He entrusted us with the most sacred gift, the final key that would unlock for us, heaven, to get us out of this escape room of death. 

The only way for us to get out of this escape room of sin is in receiving Him. Receiving His very body and blood, soul and divinity into our lives. And then, having come to discover that ourselves, after you get through an escape room, and you know somebody else is going into it, you kind of want to share the answer, right? You want to tell them you know how to get through these different parts of this. And so that’s the Easter joy for us is; we found the answer. We found an escape. We found the only way to life is Jesus. And so, when we go out from here, we’re going to help other people come to know this. We’re going to help other people discover our personal relationship with Jesus. 

Maybe some of us today have been away from the faith. Maybe you’ve been away from the faith or the church for a while. I’d like to say that the Eucharist is for everybody. We’re all called to it. But sometimes we’re not ready to receive the Eucharist. And in the church, that’s why we have what’s called the Right of Christian Initiation. So, the Eucharist is our final step, in that initiation journey. It’s the final step forward, the key; everything is finally unlocked, and we enter into our faith. 

But then we discover there’s red herrings in our own life. We go off sometimes on different tangents. Because we walk away from the faith, we get trapped into some kind of sin in our life. Jesus gives us another way back. And that way is the Sacrament of Confession. Next Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. It’s always the first Sunday after Easter. Jesus revealed himself, He came in His resurrected form to Sister Faustina and held out His arms. And the rays of red and white came forth gushing forth from Him and He said, ‘I desire that every soul who has been away it comes to me on Divine Mercy Sunday. I will open the floodgates of my mercy and receive them into heaven.’

So, this is just my offering or invitation for you is, try to find every single soul that you can. To come to him next Sunday and Divine Mercy. Because we do know the way out. We do know that the way, the truth, and the life. But it’s not just for us to receive. It’s also for us to share. And so, if you find yourself chasing after that red herring Sunday after Sunday, we come here to our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the final clue. And leads us ultimately into Heaven.