We are all wrapped up in the mystery of who God is, in who Jesus Christ is—His birth, death and resurrection. [Tonight, is the Vigil of Vigils when new fire and the Pascal Candle are blessed, and the Catechumens are baptized. Given our circumstances, the 9 people who would have been baptized and 3 who would have embraced the Catholic Faith will celebrate with the community at a later date. Meanwhile, we will continue to pray for them.] Events have occurred rapidly, and we’ve had to make adjustments on a weekly basis. We are not finished yet. Perhaps we all desire to return to our normal life. Yet, for good and for the not so good, things always happen for a reason. We have been given an opportunity to be different, to make changes, to focus on what is really important. That’s what the death of Jesus did for the world. He caused a change in His Apostles, the disciples, and gave birth to the Church. The death of Jesus was seen as tragic, the end, the ultimate failure of the Prophet from Nazareth. But we know that His death was not the end, only the beginning of something wonderful. The empty tomb gave hope to the doubtful. Many a saint embraced their death joyfully knowing that they would share in the same life which Jesus promised those who were willing to take up their cross, in essence, to die with Him.
The cross is never easy. In some cases, the longer we live, the heavier they are. The cross that comes from being chronologically gifted—that means old age—is more prevalent now. Since there is a rise in family violence, some are not coping well having to stay home all day with the same faces. We are not supposed to leave our home except for grave necessity—such a limitation presents challenges. We are unaccustomed to being restricted. So, think of the cross—the discipline of living with a limitation over which we have no control. Surrendering control is a big issue for many of us. Jesus gave up control. Although He declared, “No one takes my life from me. I lay it down freely.” Because there was no other way. Jesus had already asked the Father. “If this cup can pass, let it pass. But not my will. Your will be done.” There was no other way to save us from ourselves. Only though the ultimate sacrifice were we able to accept how much we are loved.
And many of us still have difficulty in accepting God’s unconditional love. When catastrophes, such as the one we are facing, strike, one of the first conclusions that surfaces is that God is punishing us. Consider that if God did want to punish us or give us what we deserve, He would have wiped away humanity a long time ago. Others think that with the right combination of prayers or praying to the most miraculous saint or reciting the best novena, then God will love us. We cannot do anything to make God love us more and we cannot do anything to make God love us less. God loves us because He chooses. That’s the Good News of Easter. He’s alive and we are loved beyond our imagination. We are guilty as charged but we have been acquitted. All is forgiven when we ask. Fear not because Christ died and rose to save us. Nothing can destroy our relationship with Him. Time to give thanks. Easter eggs or no Easter eggs. Easter is how we treat each other, especially in our family. Perhaps we shall never have another opportunity like the present. Something good can come from apparent evil. Our salvation came through the cross. We can all rise as better people when the darkness passes. It will pass.
Our Faith in Jesus Christ is our rock. In Him we place all our hope. Happy Easter.