Walk the Easter Way: More than a Day, Easter is a Way of Living Differently
Ambo and receiving the Risen One in the most Holy Eucharist, becoming what we consume. We will hear the marvelous post Resurrection accounts and follow the extraordinary change which occurred in the early Apostles as the power of this Resurrection fashioned them into a living witness for the faith.
We will celebrate Easter for fifty days until we celebrate the next great Feast, the Feast of Pentecost. Alleluias will permeate our worship - and they are meant to inform our lives. That is because, in the words of the great western Church Bishop, Augustine, "we are an Easter people and alleluia is our song."
Everything is different now because that Tomb is empty. We are different now because we have been raised with Christ. We have been capacitated, through the Resurrection, to begin living our lives in a new way. Have you have heard the old adage, used often in a disparaging way, "He´s so heavenly he is no earthly good." I suggest again that it misses the mark completely.
We Easter people are called to be so heavenly- to live our lives so attractively - that we bring Goodness Himself to the earth and move the earth toward its eternal recreation in Him. Easter is more than a day; it is a way of living our lives now in Him, and with one another for the sake of the world.
Because He has been raised, heaven has come to earth and earth can now come to heaven. Because He has been raised, the new creation has already begun. The seed of the kingdom is manifested in the Church which is His Risen Body, the sign of the new heaven and new earth. That Holy Place of Habitation where all men and women are called to be set free from the Law of sin and death, live and graze, being fed on His Word and nourished on His Body and Blood, healed by His Oil of Mercy and prepared for eternity.
As we follow Peter and John, whose story we heard proclaimed in our Gospel lesson for Easter Sunday, we witness the power of the Resurrection at work in the lives of ordinary men and women who become extraordinary by living their lives in Him. No longer afraid, these witnesses of the Resurrection, in the words of the Acts of the Apostles, "turn the world upside down with their preaching."
They became so configured to the Lord that they lived and died like Him, for the sake of the world which is being re-born now, because he has been raised. So too can we turn our world upside down because the Resurrection makes all things new, beginning now!
The implications of the Resurrection unfolded for them as they reflected on His saving life and death and yielded to the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives. So it must for us now, as we realize that Easter is more than a day, it is a way. Time became for them a tutor, no longer a tyrant.
Because the sting of death, sin, had been defeated, it became for them a portal into eternal life and communion with the One who has been raised. So it is for each of us who now bear His Name. Time invites us into a field of choice where we can progress in freedom and become configured to the One whose Holy Resurrection we are celebrating.
Easter is more than a Day, it is a Way; A Way of living our lives differently now in Him because we have been set free. We are invited to do that by living them daily in His Church. The Church is His Body. The Church is the new world, in the course of transfiguration. That world created through Him out of love but which was lost due to sin, is now being made new! His tomb is empty.
He came among us and began creation anew. That is why we celebrate. Death has been defeated by His Saving Death. In His Resurrection, we now live no more to die. Darkness has been scattered by the Light which breaks forth from that empty tomb and is meant to infuse our daily lives with the radiance of Resurrected love. What a Day! What a Way, the Easter Way, Alleluia!
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Easter, Resurrection, Empty Tomb, Allelulia, Hallelujah, Resurrection, Victory, Deacon Keith Fournier
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