The Joyful Signs of the Resurrection

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! Alleluia! My sincere prayer that you and your families may know ever more deeply the Joy and Peace of the Risen Christ. Let us be joyful in the victory of Jesus Christ over sin, Satan and death—a victory which Jesus shares with us, which we welcome anew each day and to which we recommit ourselves, during the Sundays of Easter in the renewal of our Baptismal promises.

These promises, and all our liturgical celebrations throughout the year, remind us that the Easter mystery of Christ’s Resurrection is our life, woven into all that we are, what we believe and how we live as God’s people.

St. Paul spent much of his life helping the Churches he founded to understand what it means to live a resurrected life in Christ. In his letter to the Colossians, for example, he tells the new Christians:

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

In most of Paul’s letters, the message is the same: ‘Do not go back to the old, former way of life that you left behind, but embrace the new life you now have in Christ.’

This is the purpose of our times of Lent. Our greater commitment to prayer, alms-giving and fasting helps us to live more fully in the resurrected life of Christ, letting it live in us. When we grow closer to God through prayer—Christ is Risen! As we die to all forms of selfishness and become more generous in serving others—Christ is Risen! When we overcome certain attachments through self-denial and discover the joy of a greater freedom to live for God and others—Christ is Risen! When we repent of our sins or forgive someone, Christ is Risen!

All of these are resurrections, signs of Christ’s risen life within us and how we are signs to each other of Easter’s true meaning. Christ is Risen! He has risen in us, and the fruits of his resurrection in us becomes more and more our daily joy.

One of my favorite ‘go to’ books during this season is by the English author, Caryll Houselander. In this book, she has a beautiful description of what it means to lead a Risen life, after the example of Jesus. She writes: “It is to be a life of love, love that creates, love that fills up the measure of each life with joy. Love that is light and peace. Love that forgives and heals and sustains, that makes us one. Love that gives life to the world and gives beauty to life. Love that is food and clothing and water for thirst. Love that is bread. It is the love of the Eternal Father for his only Son, given to us and it is given to us for ourselves and for one another.”

Let us take to heart the message of St. Paul; let us not throw away the progress and growth we have made through Lent. Let us not give up our greater freedom from the bondage we left behind—but hold fast to the graces of new growth, so that we can be better signs and proof to the world that Christ is truly risen!!

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!!

God love you,

Fr. Steven


Leave a Reply