Dear Parishioners: Happy Easter! We pass over from darkness to light, from death to life! Jesus has passed over from the cross to the resurrection! It is indeed as the Psalmist proclaims: “this is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” This Easter Sunday we once again stand before Jesus’ empty tomb. Are we perplexed, like Peter? Lost in grief, like Mary Magdalene? Open to something we still don’t fully understand, like John? We are privileged to stand with eyes enlightened by faith and hearts enlarged by love, having received the gift of faith and love at baptism. This gift has been nurtured through the sacraments, the preaching and the prayers of the Church.
This Easter as millions of Catholics renew their baptismal promises they also proclaim their faith: “I believe in the resurrection of the body.” t see with physical eyes, what cannot be measured and counted or manipulated in a laboratory, is more real than what we can see now with our still mortal eyes. We cannot see or directly touch sympathy for a friend in need, sorrow for those who find their lives turned upside down because they have lost a parent, a spouse, a child or because the economic recession has deprived them of a job or a home; we s grace.
When we are at Mass what we see with physical eyes are bread and wine. What we believe is really present is the risen body of Christ. That body is not constrained by the rules of space and time of this world’s limitations. The risen Lord is completely free, having broken the bonds of death and the grave. His risen body comes to us in Holy Communion, under the visible forms of bread and wine. Christ comes with the promise of new life, with the assurance that our still mortal bodies will rise to immortality if we receive him now in the Eucharist. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood,” Jesus promises, “ will live forever.” We take him at his word, for he is the risen Lord.
Christ is risen from the grave and the Church is our Mother, therefore our destiny reaches beyond space and time, beyond what can be measured and controlled. And therein lies our hope and the meaning for our lives.The glorified Christ draws us and the whole world upward to new life. The Resurrection which we commemorate at Easter is not just a distant historical event of the past. It is a challenge for today and it opens a path of hope for the future. And so we must run with this Easter message. We must tell all whom we love and we must tell all others that Christ has risen from the dead. He is risen indeed! Alleluia.
Next Sunday the Pope Francis is to beatify Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II. This means they are now to be saints of our Church. We will remember these saintly popes at Masses next week here at OLM. In his first Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World) Easter Message in 1979, Pope John Paul II asked: “How could we fail to rejoice at the victory of this Christ, who passed through the world doing good to everyone and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, in which is expressed the fullness of the redemptive goodness of God? How can we fail to rejoice at the revelation of the power of God alone and at the victory of this power over sin and human blindness? How can we fail to rejoice at the victory definitively won by good over evil?” We can’t fail to rejoice on this Easter Day! We rejoice that Christ is risen, he has defeated sin and death. Let us proclaim: “This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Fr. Connors and I offer our prayers and blessings to you for a truly Holy and Happy Easter!