At the beginning of this month, we celebrated the Mass of the Resurrection, the joy of Easter Sunday. For an Octave…eight days...the Catholic Church will celebrate “the Day” of Resurrection...new birth...Easter. And though some entertainers on the television and internet channels joked about this Solemnity of Easter falling on April Fool’s Day...we who live new life in Christ the Lord...we know the truth of things. I hope that you know of this new life, this abundant life, this life of grace. This is the gift that only the Lord of life may give.
This is the heart of our faith-life, the heart of the Catholic Church: God so loved the world...His world...His humanity, for all is the Creator’s...that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life (John 3.16). In faith, we remembered the Lord’s gift of priestly ministry and Eucharist on Holy Thursday: a new Passover meal...where His broken body becomes food for the journey and His blood poured out becomes a celebration of His Presence and the drink of the new Covenant...that invites all of humanity to rejoice in the Father’s mercy. We remembered the anguish and pain and desolation of Good Friday: Jesus of Nazareth becomes the lamb of sacrifice, food for the new Passover meal. He becomes the Suffering Servant that the prophet Isaiah longed to see (Isaiah 53). By His wounds, we are healed.
Easter Sunday and every Sunday, disciples of the Risen Lord gather together to share in the wisdom of God through a prayerful proclamation of the scriptures. We profess our faith in the Creed, written 1500 years ago, as the Catholic Church became a light for the whole world. We pray for the needs of the world and for our community and for the poor and downcast.
Then, we do as the Lord Jesus asked: we celebrate His Presence among us as Emmanuel...by speaking His word through priestly ministry and by calling on the Spirit to be with us and anoint the gifts and the people with the anointing of the Risen Lord.
Christ the Lord is the new, living Temple, where the realm of heaven and the realm of earth meet. Christ the Lord, Risen and ascended to the right hand of the Father, he remains with us until the end of days...in His gifts of the Spirit, Word and Sacrament and in the renewal of our hearts. Christ the Lord lives...His humanity and ours now knowing the glory of God’s mercy, God’s love...this...as we surrender to Him and His Way of Life...to live a life of praise and service...to do as the single grain of wheat does...as it dies to self and is born again in the harvest (John 12.24).
He is Risen...and He lives...and calls us to life. His YES allows us to say YES...to the Father’s glory.