Easter Sunday C – HE IS NOT HERE; HE HAS RISEN!
April is upon us again with its abundance of daises and buttercups, cherry blossom and marigold and daffodils and roses – all telling us to cheer up, that the darkness of winter is over and gone. The breath of Easter is in the air with its intimations of hope and a new way of living. Easter offers us a bigger window, a fourth dimension, through which to see our lives, our world, God and other people. Jesus risen from the dead is the light of the world. Many people see in our world today little more than depression and darkness. Brexit, climate change, Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and a dramatic rise in the cost of living challenge our faith in Jesus’ words: Do not let your hearts be troubled – John 14: 1.
That looks like a big ask. It asks us to pray constantly and to be aware of God’s presence. We cannot leap-frog over time spent in prayer and expect our hearts to not be troubled by all that is going on in the world around us. Time spent in prayer allows the message of Christ find a home in us and the peace of Christ reign in our hearts – Cf. Colossians 3: 12-17. The Easter message of Christ is one of hope based on the divine promise. The hope offered to us at Easter is the hope of living our lives with a new awareness: “As Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life” – Romans 6: 4.
The Easter proclamation, ‘Jesus is Risen’, revealed to the women at the empty tomb, was an invitation to them and to us to believe, and to share in a new way of seeing God and of living with each other in the world. “Unless you believe, you will not understand,” Isaiah 7: 9. Faith seeks to understand and the Spirit of God will lead us to understand that the Father will raise us up too with Christ to a new kind of life – Cf. John 16: 13. The resurrection of Christ is the source of our hope. Our lives are not limited or circumscribed by life as we know it now. Easter means for believers that there’s more to life than meets the eye.
Easter is not about resuscitation like Lazarus; our faith is not about some kind of post-mortem survival. It’s about the reality that those whose lives have been grafted onto Christ in baptism shall share a fuller, glorious, transformed life as the gift of the Father. Easter is not primarily about the hereafter, the immortality of the soul. It’s about the transformation of our whole existence – spirit, soul and body – to become part of Christ’s glorious body. Easter celebrates that we are part of a people committed to a way of living: we must do as we would be done to, practice the forgiveness we desire from the Father, and we must act with gentleness, kindness and patience. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!
Fr. QQ – 04/12/2022
“The events of Holy Week should not be reduced to a re-enacted drama
but embraced as our deepest reality” – Ilia Delio