Happy Easter! Alleluia!
It’s hard to imagine what the first Easter must have been like. There were only a small number of people who followed Jesus and they had just suffered a horrible, tragic loss in seeing him die on the cross. They were still feeling the shock waves of his death when some reported the unthinkable—He is risen! The event of the resurrection of Jesus sets Christians apart from the world in a special way. Look around you. There are more people in Church today for one reason. Jesus died, then rose again! You are here and so are they because they believe, they have faith and hope in the resurrection to eternal life. Millions of people around the world have made a special effort to get dressed up and go to Church today to celebrate what their faith means to them. Like you, I wish everyone had a strong faith and a sense of purpose about what to do with their faith. Imagine what our world could be like if everyone worked together to build societies that honored God and put the Gospel values into action! I am reminded that the followers of Jesus were few but they grew in number because they lived a sincere faith and the Lord showed his favor through them. We have the same opportunity. If the world we live in is to grow in holiness and remain a good place to live, then the faith that brings us here must go out with us into our homes, our schools, our places of work, our neighborhoods and wherever else we go. We must be glad to share with other people what our faith gives us. The tomb is empty! Not because his body was stolen but because God raised him from the dead! There are those who would roll the stone back over the entrance by covering up their faith or by denying what really happened. This is a time for us to be grateful for the new freedom Jesus has given us from our old sins and attitudes that lead to a dead end. We have been raised with him in sure and certain ways! As a people of faith, let this Easter be the time when we sincerely rededicate ourselves as baptized disciples of Jesus. He gave us the Gospel and its power! Let our words and our actions show our good will and the Good News of the resurrection! +++ Fr. Peter