From ancient times we have celebrated the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Decorated with Easter bunnies, butterflies, and balloons—Easter is always about Jesus Christ—when the Father raised Him from the tomb—never to die again.
A beautiful story—one that needs to be repeated—especially to the children—least we forget why we are here—who we are. Originally passed on by word of mouth from one generation to another—a Passionate Group of people who were willing to die for what they believed. Although some might not have seen Him, they took the word of those who had—that in fact Jesus was alive—that He could go through walls—that he allowed some to touch the nail marks in His Body. But the promise that no one forgot was when Jesus said that everyone who believed in Him would share the same Resurrection. At first people were afraid but then they didn’t care if the soldier took them to prison or threw them to the lions or beheaded them because they knew that they were going straight to heaven—straight to be with the author of life. The pain was temporary—the life was forever. The story was repeated until some wrote it down so that other generations would not forget. Communities were formed—many by the one who was at first killing Christians—Paul whose name was changed from Saul. Peter and James also organized groups. There was no such person as a “Sunday Christian”! Since every catechumen was in love before they committed to being baptized, there was no going back—no “wishy washy” attitude about the Faith. The first Christians became the living stones of our Church. They are the reason that we are here. The courage, the blood, the love they shared still echoes through the pages of the Bible. However, we might not look the same, act the same way, or speak the language—we are still called to the same enthusiasm.
None of our ancestors would have thought of coming to the Mass (the Lord’s Supper as it was called) as an obligation. The word didn’t exits in reference to Mass. The Lord’s Supper was always and has always been a privilege. Since Jesus said, “If you eat my Body and drink my Blood you will not die—you will live forever.” Never did the thought of “obligation” cross their minds. Celebrating the Lord’s Supper was a cause for which many lost their lives—in defending the Eucharist.
Progress is not measured in numbers: how many Christians there are in the world—how much money we have—how successful we are. Progress is measured in our love for each other. In an age when everything needs proof—people do not believe unless they can analyze. The proof of the Resurrection is not whether or not a body was found, but in the fact that Jesus lives in His believers. To the extent that we are united, that we stop the fighting, to the degree that we are willing to forgive—then Jesus is manifested. We make Him present in a world gone mad with greed. Obviously we have to be different. If folks can’t tell us apart from the everyday consumer, then something’s wrong. Because when we die what will we have to show? What will be the evidence of our Christianity? The only answer is love. We know how much Jesus loved us. Our call is to love in the same way.
Happy Easter means that we are indeed happy because Jesus is alive inside of us. Resurrection is never giving into despair but believing in the goodness of humanity—never giving up on ourselves and on each other.