3rd Sunday B Easter         –         Everyday Easter

That Jesus rose from the dead at Easter was as much a ‘given’ from my childhood as was his birth at Christmas into this world. It’s still a given even though we questioned everything in theology school.  The question is: what does the resurrection of Jesus mean for our everyday lives as believers – does it get me up in the morning and help me through the day ahead?  The resurrection of Jesus empowered the first disciples to live in the Spirit and to start transforming the world around them. They began to see that the way of Jesus was a new way of being and living in which the poor, the gentle, those who mourned, those who hungered for justice and peace, and those of pure heart would be blessed. Easter initiated a new world.

There is something very real, humane and down to earth about the message of Jesus. At the heart of it is a sense of mystery beyond that which we can see, hear and touch. It is grounded in contemporary reality, in the today, the here and now – and not in fantasy or nostalgia for the things of yesterday. In the Eucharist we are drawn to connect with others and build bridges with people. The Eucharist builds community; theologians say it creates the church.  Hearing the word of God draws us to personal reflection and healthy questioning which is meant to open us to receive the joy and energy of a real encounter with Christ. The message of Jesus stirs compassion and collaboration with others. Christianity is not a solo run. And when it is a community experience it is worth getting up for in the morning.

That quintessential Easter sacrament, baptism, ‘the sacrament of radical equality’ (1),  is a welcoming and commissioning to seek justice, to speak truth to power, and to bring healing to those hurt by marginalisation. We are anointed to shatter the shadows of fear within ourselves and our communities. We are called to dissolve the metaphoric prisons of the world: patriarchy, sexism, racial and white supremacy – systems of unchecked power and privilege that disenfranchise people. Baptism calls us to be part of a community of doers of justice and to speak on behalf of those who have no voice.  Baptism calls us to a life of community and sharing – giving freely, being compassionate, opening our hearts to the needs of others, and being of service whenever food, clothing or shelter are absent or in short supply. We grow by giving ourselves not to ourselves but to the common good, God’s will.

We  associate doing or accepting God’s will with old time religious obedience, keeping the rules, putting up with bad luck, accepting illness and loss. God’s whole will and work for the world is about sending his only Son so we could have eternal life – John 3: 16. Theologian Albert Nolan writes: “God’s work is the original burst of creative energy, the exploding stars, the expanding universe, and the creative diversity we witness all around us” (2). Cultural historian Thomas Berry describes the transition from a period of human devastation of theearth to a time when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficent manner. God’s will, God’s work consists in bringing about what’s good and fair and just for all – the common good (3).

Let me keep my distance always from those who think

they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say ‘Look!’

and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads.      (Mary Oliver)

 

Fr. QQ – 04/14/2021

1 – Don E. Saliers  LITURGY AND SPIRITUALITY, – 55

2- Albert Nolan op, JESUS TODAY, -189

3- Thomas Berry, THE GREAT WORK, – 5

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