March 31 – Easter Sunday

If you go to the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, you will actually be visiting the second largest mosaic in the world; thousands of small pieces of glass depicting the life of Christ adorn the church. When you walk down the center aisle and look to your right, you will see the following passage on the wall: “Christ is not risen, your faith is in vain.”  When I first encountered it, I was confused as the statement was contrary to the faith.  Why was this in the Catholic Cathedral Basilica? It wasn’t until I moved closer toward that side of the church that a very important word was revealed, which had been previously blocked by my field of vision: “If”. This word completes St. Paul’s quote from his first letter to the Corinthians, If Christ is not risen, your faith is in vain.” 

Every time I walk into that Basilica, I have my own little April Fool’s day!  Christ is not risen – April fools, just kidding, He has risen!  However, what is St. Paul getting at with his rhetorical statement?  He is declaring a necessary need for action. Because Jesus rose from the dead it changes everything. Our faith was never meant to be something idle, or something stagnant. It was never meant to be something that we just acknowledge for one hour a week on Sunday, or even once a year!  It is meant to move our very being to its core!

When you encounter love, do you just sit there?  Or do you respond to it with your whole being?  When someone tells you that they love you, what happens if you say nothing? It becomes very awkward.  Why? … Because encountering truth and love requires a response! 

What do we celebrate this Easter? God’s unconditional love for us: that even in the midst of our sin and death, God conquers both for our sake!  The question is: are we going to sit idle while God professes His love for us, or are we going to respond with our very being, saying a great yes, a great AMEN?

Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

He has risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Father Michael