Newness of life – that is the message of Easter, the Church’s principal feast. It comes in the spring of the year when nature begins to burst forth anew. The new clothes and the Easter eggs are symbols that point to new life. It is the resurrection itself that is the major statement about life.
Christ’s emergence from the tomb has importance for three major reasons. First of all, it is God’s endorsement of everything Jesus claimed and taught. His life ends in victory not defeat. He was not destroyed by cynical machinations, political manipulation, or military power. In Jesus’ resurrection, God has the final word. Secondly, this faith event is the cause of our salvation. Paul tells us that if Christ did not rise, then we are still deep in sin. It is the risen Christ that gives us the Spirit, our sanctifier. The “firstborn of the dead” gives assurance to all of us that we are called to a similar destiny. Finally it is the risen Christ that represents the starting point of Christian faith. It is the prism through which everything in his earthly ministry is now viewed. Jesus of Nazareth, the Jewish rabbi instructing his disciples, is truly God’s Son and Lord. Easter stands at the heart of faith.
St Paul always looks at the practical dimension. We now have a heavenly homeland, a new vision, and eternal truths to shape our thinking. This does not mean we live only for a world to come. To bring the Easter spirit to life in a suffering world is very much our task in the here and now. There are the disheartened and the discouraged , the terminally ill, youth in need of credible role models, the poor who people the world’s barrios and favellas. The point is, however, that it is our spiritual vision of the new reality which directs all that we do. Easter opens the door to a future heavenly banquet. It is the ultimate Easter dinner to which all are invited by the Lord who rose and was first accepted in faith by one who loved.
Happy Easter to all our parishioners!!