Metro

O’Malley urges parishioners to spread joy of Christ’s resurrection

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrated Easter Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrated Easter Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley urged parishioners Sunday to spread the joy of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, using his Easter Mass to recall the “virtual marathon” carried out by his followers as they raced to spread the word.

“Mary Magdalene ran to tell the people that he is alive. Let us not drag our feet as we rush to share the good news,” the leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston told a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,700.

O’Malley reminded those gathered at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston’s South End of the importance of the Easter story.

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“We have a saying, ‘Seeing is believing,’ ” said O’Malley. “But for most of us, it’s the other way around. As we believe in the risen Christ, we begin to see him active in our lives: helping us, comforting us, guiding us. As we believe in the risen Christ, we begin to see him in others.”

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The cardinal opened his homily by offering the ceremony for “all of those who are the victims of terrorism in Belgium and so many places in the world, those who are victims of violence and hate and prejudice.”

As he turned to the story of the resurrection, O’Malley made reference to the body of Jesus, which would have been buried in a common grave, except that Joseph of Arimathea offered his own prepared tomb to be used for the burial.

“Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room in the inn, and he tells us that though the birds in the air had their nests and the foxes had their dens, the Son of man had nowhere to lay his head,” said O’Malley. “Even in death, Jesus did not have a tomb of his own.”

O’Malley described the happiness that Magdalene, the other holy women, and the disciples felt when they arrived at his burial site to find that he had risen.

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“If Easter is about being surprised by joy, it’s also about sharing the good news that our redeemer lives,” he said. “Happy Easter.”

Nicole Fleming can be reached at nicole.fleming@globe.com.