He is Risen! Alleluia! These are joyous days! We have to be careful that we don’t think that since Lent and Re-routing are over that it is time to get back to “normal” life. “Normal” life, whatever that is, is over. Jesus has given us new life in Him and reasons not to be afraid! Jesus said to his disciples (He says to us) in today’s Gospel, “Peace be with you. But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” (Luke 24:36-39)
Jesus is standing with all of us. He never abandoned us. He is standing in our homes and in our work place and and He is asking us to be a witness of what we have just experienced during this past Holy Week. We were present for the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, we shared in his sorrow and passion on Good Friday, and we laid Him in a tomb on Holy Saturday. But as night fell, we began to celebrate our awakening of the hope in the Resurrection. We witnessed new disciples come into the church and declare that they wanted to be baptized with Christ and be brought into communion with the church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. We were present there as witnesses and supporters of our new brothers and sisters in Christ. On Easter Sunday, we rejoiced in the Resurrection as Jesus called us to a new life to be with Him forever and to bring others to Him. Holy Week was a week full of emotions because we were there! We felt and experienced all of it.
Every Sunday, we are called over and over again to share in the Last Supper, to renounce our sins and reflect on the passion, and to share in the Resurrection of our Lord by telling others of the difference He has made in our lives. Easter allows us to commit again to be disciples of Jesus. Every Sunday, we are called to commit again to be disciples of Jesus. After Lent, we should be different. After every Mass, we should be different.
Two years ago, my husband spent Holy Week in the hospital dying from cancer. We intimately shared in the passion of our Lord that week. Watching someone you love go through tremendous suffering is unbearable and yet, through that suffering, you learn to love deeper. On Easter Sunday morning, I arrived at the hospital after the sunrise Mass, to find out that he had fallen in the middle of the night and had broken his shoulder. He wouldn’t let the hospital call me because he didn’t want me to worry and lose any more sleep. “No greater love has a man, than to lay down his life for his friends.” The kids and I sat with him as he told our doctor about how our Lord had risen today and had died for our sins. I was so proud of Brian that day, and a little bit jealous that he could so freely express how much he loved God. He was so happy and he spoke like an excited child. The doctor, out of great respect, sat and listened to every word Brian said. In that moment, all of our sins and wounds, both as a couple and as individuals were forgotten, and all I could see was this beautiful man who brought people to Jesus in his own way–in the way that God called him to personally do it.
There is no one right way to bring others to Jesus. He has called each of us in our own unique way to spread the Gospel. No one is exempt from the calling. There is no sinner that is exempt from the calling. The calling is not just for priests and nuns. The calling is for all of us–to go out and joyfully share the Gospel with everyone. We are called to be “beautiful” as Fr. John said in his Easter Vigil homily (find it at olgcparish.net) because it attracts others to Jesus.
In these days of Easter, let’s go out as true apostles and share the goodness, the Truth, the beauty and the ultimate reason for our joy!
Good and Gracious Father,
I find myself today filled with intense happiness. I am grateful for the love you have for me. This was a Holy Week like no other. So often during Lent and Holy Week, the Evil One can get on my back and in my head, but not this year! Thanks be to God! I am open to whatever you want me to do. Let every celebration of the Eucharist be a reminder of your great love. You are not a tyrant God. You are a God of love. Help me to be a light to the world. Help me to be the face of Jesus and to see the face of Jesus in everyone I meet. Rejoice! ! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
(I will be continuing this blog in some format–stay tuned!)