Alleluia Jesus is Risen!
Alleluia Jesus is risen! Alleluia Lent is over!
Wow, I can’t believe Easter is finally here. I hope you had a good Lent. I often find the Lenten season can be tough. We prepare the way for Jesus to be born anew in us and for God to give us a new heart at Easter, but getting to Easter isn’t always easy. Why is this? We recall the life of Jesus, who washed the feet of His disciples, ate supper with them in the upper room, and prayed in the garden while they slept. Jesus, whose persecutors wove a crown of thorns, scourged his body, gave him vinegar on a sponge, and pierced his side. Jesus who walked, slept, ate, and drank. Jesus our Lord and God who suffered and died out of love for us. To some degree, we enter into His Passion with our own dying of ourselves. Dying of our constricting self-interest or selfishness isn’t easy, but to gain a new heart, the Heart of Jesus, we also have to go to the cross with Jesus.
Dying of our self-centeredness reminds me of a story I once heard about dogs and cats. It goes like this; “A dog looks at its Master and thinks, ‘You give me treats, you feed me, you pet me, you shelter me, you love me…. therefore, you must be god!” On the other hand, a cat looks at its Master and thinks, ‘You give me treats, you feed me, you pet me, you shelter me, you love me…therefore I must be god!” They both look at their loving Master and their loving Master looks at them in the same way, but because of their humility or lack thereof they come to completely different conclusions!
We too can go through life with a selfish heart, just thinking about ourselves, thinking we’re god… or we can go through life with a humble heart, thinking about the good of others. This is the example Jesus gave us from the cross. Not thinking about Himself but rather, thinking about the good of others, yes, even His enemies.
This is what we celebrate on Easter and at every Sunday Mass; the total self-giving of Jesus out of love for us and His Heavenly Father. We hear, we see, and we enter into this one great Paschal Mystery of our faith. The summation of God’s plan of salvation and the very heart of every liturgy we celebrate. Jesus in dying has destroyed our death, and by rising, has restored us unto eternal life. There’s no force, no power, no action greater than the love of God in Christ Jesus for each and every one of us. Wow, if we just reflect on the magnitude of the love of Jesus Christ surely our hearts will be set on fire to love others as well. Not just to love others but to realize that no matter what type of hardship or suffering comes our way, God is with us and by the power of God’s love there will be a glorious resurrection; good will ultimately triumph over evil.
Like those first witnesses to the Resurrection some two thousand years ago, we too have been commissioned to testify to this glorious Good News in our words and actions. Today and every day, let us give thanks to God and praise His Holy Name for such a precious gift of love and eternal life! Let us be so grateful we spend each day of our lives so as to be worthy of so great a gift.
In the love of Christ’s Resurrected glory!