April 4 – Easter
ALLELUIA! We celebrate another Easter Sunday! Of course we know what we celebrate – that God raised Jesus from the dead and through our death in baptism, we too will be raised from the dead. But there is more than that! How does this reality affect our daily life between our baptism and our physical death? Jesus had a way of surprising his disciples. They witnessed how he walked on water, multiplied fish and bread, and turned water into wine. Yet they are surprised to find the tomb empty though he had told them more than once that he would rise on the third day. Once again, Jesus shocks them, moving far beyond their expectations. In our lives we encounter Jesus in surprising ways. Maybe the most surprising is that others encounter Jesus in each of us!
St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians reminds us that Christ is revealed through us. Today’s readings encourage us to let go of our feelings of unworthiness and any judgments we have placed on others. Today we renew our baptismal promises. Our baptism calls us to step over the obstacles of race, creed, and personal prejudice to build relationship where we encounter Christ with and through one another.
In today’s Gospel we see Peter, standing in the empty tomb, surprised and silent. Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus three times, must have felt unworthy and fearful. Like Peter, we may sometimes feel inadequate or undeserving to be disciples in the world today. Occasionally we may have doubts and questions about our faith. We can turn to Scripture and prayer to help us grow closer to Jesus. By our participation in the sacraments, with God’s grace, our faith becomes stronger. On entering the tomb after Peter, the beloved disciple sees and believes. We are all beloved disciples. The tomb is empty; Jesus is with his disciples in a new way. Like the disciples, we encounter Jesus, sometimes in surprising ways!
On behalf of Fr. James, our Permanent Deacons and their wives, our seminarian Tom Logue, and all our staff, I wish all of you a blessed and joyful Easter!