Dear Believers in the Risen Christ,
On this glorious day of Resurrection, I wish all of you a heartfelt and loving Easter Day. This is the day that suffering and death give way to new life. Jesus Christ is Risen! Welcome to our parish community if you are here for the first time and thank you to those who are long time parishioners and friends.
Today’s gospel (John 20:1-9) helps us enter into the scene of Jesus’ Resurrection. Mary Magdalene, Peter and John find the tomb of Jesus empty. They had journeyed with their friend in his condemnation, his crucifixion and his death. They could not let go of the one they loved. Imagine then going to the tomb and not finding Jesus. They must have felt helpless and afraid.
Mary Magdalene was the first to proclaim the Resurrection. She was considered voiceless because she was a woman. She was considered a person without power or credibility because of her place in the community as a woman and a follower of Jesus. She testified to the empty tomb and people believed her! This is another miracle embedded in this sacred text of the gospel.
Jesus’ Resurrection means that a new imagination if possible Incredible things can happen even when we are discouraged or have lost our way. Something new is possible because we share in Jesus’ new life in our own baptism. Easter is a festival of Jesus’ new life but it is also a festival of our own share in it. We renew our baptismal promises so to proclaim to others that something new is possible. Love, hope, compassion and mercy are at the heart of our new life in Christ Jesus.
Easter is about a new imagination of our faith. If Christianity is to survive in our culture, then we are to re-image how we live. Christianity cannot be complacent or lethargic. Following Jesus is more than a strict adherence to rules or to be obsessed about the past. A new imagination means we are to rely on the Holy Spirit in the new issues of our lives. We are to take to heart the love of God and live in creative and beautiful ways.
I want to build our communities on such imagination. I see this when we step out of our comfort zones and serve people who most need the basics of life. I witness this when our poetry class offers new insights and healing about the past, about the childhoods of the poets. I see this new life in our art class when color, shape, shading, nuance and composition shows us a new facet about our skills and opens us up to potential. Our friends who are receiving the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist in this Easter season give us all hope for our future.
How can you participate in the new imagination of Jesus’ Resurrection? What do you have to lose?
Easter peace and blessings,