Once again we have closed another Lent. Once again we have celebrated the Sacred Triduum with intense liturgical fervor. We have sung of Jesus’ victory over death. We have welcomed the newly baptized into our midst. We have noted the crowds who are drawn to the church in record numbers for the Easter Sunday. We have consumed the sweetness of the chocolate bunnies. We have savored the flowering of the earth. We have invoked the many alleluias of the Easter Season.
Easter is time filled as well as a time of fulfillment. It is because these phenomena that the Wisdom of the Church asks us to keep our focus on the resurrection stories over the next seven weeks. It is because of the fullness and the power of the Easter event that
It is in the next seven week that we are asked to assimilate the gospel stories of Jesus’ apparitions and to own for ourselves the transformational stories of those who peopled the early church.
As Catholic Christians Easter is not just an event celebrated, it was, is and will always be a process. A process entered into. It is a process that entails a comparison of our personal experience with the experience of others. Others who have come to the conclusion that Jesus is not just another teacher, prophet, or guru. Rather, that through his resurrection Jesus proves that he is the Messiah, the long awaited one, the alpha and the Omega. He is the one whose death and resurrection marks the central act of history.
As Catholic Christians we recognize that history began with our being in harmony with God and that through our human decisions, our human choices, that harmony was disrupted. As Catholic Christians we recognize our role and celebrate the fact that God through his Son Jesus has enabled us to live once again in harmony with God.
As Catholic Christians we are also asked to give witness to our harmony with God, but living out a life of harmony with others. The story of the resurrection of Jesus is personalized when we allow ourselves to die, when we allow suffering to be transcended.
As Catholics we are asked to let bitterness drop, resentments diminish. We are asked to act out of compassion and not compulsion. The Easter story of Jesus intersects with our stories when we allow the words of the risen Lord, “Peace be with you” to fall from our lips.
The Easter story continues in our lives when we are absorbed with forgiveness rather than revenge. The Easter story is ours when we choose to heal rather than riot.
Easter invites us to repent. That repentance is oftentimes slow. It is oftentimes takes a lifetime, none the less it is what we are called to do. Repent and believe that t Jesus is with us on our journey back to God. His journey begins where we are. In that journey we are accepted as we are with the expectation that we will allow ourselves to be changed until one day we look to Jesus and say, “My lord and my God.”