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Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

April 12, 2009

This is the day which the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
Happy Easter to you all! The Lord is Risen. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Over the past several days, we watched the horrific trial and death of Jesus where a good and innocent man was unjustly tortured and killed. This very morning, he has been vindicated by God and raised to a new plane of existence in our consciousness. St. Peter tells us that because of the way that Jesus lived his life, by doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil, he was put to death, but God has raised him and granted that he be seen by those who ate and drank with him. The Spirit asks us to preach that he is the one appointed by God as the judge of all the living and the dead.

The Resurrection transforms us. The Christ event takes our shame and confusion that we felt the past few days and turns it into a healing forgiveness; it takes our sorrow and grief and brings us a deep lasting joy. It makes our tentative love much more forthright and we establish right relationships with others because God offered us right relationship with him. Everything seems rosier and little can erode our peace.

Notice how the women in the Gospel remain faithful to the Jewish custom and to the person of Jesus. They want to bury him with dignity by caring for his body with ointment; they also want to say their goodbyes to him for the last time before his body begins to decay. And they travel to the tomb the forces of life still press against them, but when they enter the tomb they encounter a young man in a white robe sitting inside the tomb tells them not to be amazed – that Jesus, the crucified, is not among the dead. (I would be amazed.) The events had to be so convincing for these women to run and spread the word. They left with instructions to seek Jesus in Galilee where it all began. They are to seek him, and if they do, they will find him.

And what do they discover when they seek the crucified Jesus? They find that he returns for them because he loves them and wants to be with them forever. Being loved makes us perfect to the other person. We are cherished and beheld in that person’s eyes and our faults are minimized. This love makes us stand taller and straighter. We are loved even though we can’t love that person back perfectly. Jesus forgives us as well, which makes us become less hunched over and restored to a right relationship. We are pulled closer to the person by receiving or her generous compassion.

This is what happens to us with Jesus in his resurrection. He tell us that everything is O.K. between him and us, and we feel his forgiving, restorative love that reassures us that we are still lovable to him. His loving us makes us perfect in his eyes. He only sees our best. We are like the first women at the tomb who experience a fear turned into amazement. We receive the same call to tell others that we are redeemed because Jesus has been raised from the dead. Our deepest prayers are answered. We do need and indeed have a redeemer. Jesus has become our Christ of faith.

My friends, seek Christ at all times and we will find God by our side. He is working throughout the entire world to console us, to restore us to right relations, to forgive us, and to make us perfect by loving us. Let us live in the perfection of his love from this day onward.

Alleluia. Alleluia.

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