No, this is not about nature’s welcome signs of spring after a long, cold, snowy Maine winter. This is rather about the radical meaning for our lives of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The earliest Christian community was absolutely convinced that Christ’s Resurrection makes all the difference. St. Paul could not make it any clearer: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor. 15:14). As the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares, “The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ” (#638), and “constitutes the confirmation of all Christ’s works and teachings” (#651).
What does Christ’s Resurrection mean for you and me, for our hopes, our lives? Consider these truths:
- Because Christ, in His risen glory, is not confined by restrictions of space and time, He remains present with us in every moment of our lives.
- The Risen Lord encounters us most intimately and powerfully in the Eucharist, where we are formed by His word and nourished with His Body and His Blood.
- We receive Christ’s mercy and the forgiveness of our sins in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
- We are sent on mission to bring the Good News of Christ’s victory to the world.
- We translate our faith in Christ and His mercy into active commitment to defend human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, and at every moment in between.
- Those moments “in between” include our caring for people in any need – the poor, the homeless and hungry, the immigrant newly arrived on our shores.
- We will honor our duty as stewards of God’s creation to care for our natural environment.
- We will burn with a passion to share our faith with others, especially with our Catholic sisters and brothers who have wandered from the Church.
- We believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
Easter lilies and hyacinths add much to our enjoyment of life. Warm breezes and green lawns are refreshing. Opening day has come and gone, and our hope for a Red Sox World Series win is ignited again.
But Easter? It is about resurrection: Christ’s and, in Him, our own. It is about how we will live. And die. Resurrection makes all the difference.
Christ is risen! Happy Easter!
-Most Rev. Richard J. Malone