A Blessed Easter to you and your families!
Acts of the Apostles 10:34a, 27-43; Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Colossians 3:3-4; John 20:1-9
Christians, to the Paschal Victim, offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems; Christ, who only is sinless, Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended, in the combat stupendous: The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring, What you saw, wayfaring
“The tomb of Christ, who is living, The glory of Jesus’ resurrection.
Bright angels attesting, The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen: To Galilee he goes before you
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining, Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
So many books and movies have been produced about the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race. The whole Christian life moves toward Jesus on the cross and flows from his wounded side. Easter is our greatest feast and we celebrate it for eight days.
At the daily Masses this coming week we shall read little parts of the resurrection stories from our gospels. I think what is most helpful for our growth in faith is to take the time to sit down. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, read each of the resurrection accounts and take notes. Who saw Jesus on that Sunday? (What, where, when and how did they see him?) What did Jesus tell them? How was he different than before his death? I believe you will get caught up in the wonder of this glorious event. You will be astounded and excited about who Jesus is and what he is about in and through us. He wants to envelop us more and more in his loving light.
During the weekdays of this season, we shall read from Acts of the Apostles, which is the history of the earliest Church for about the first fifteen years. As Jesus filled me more with the sheer wonder of his resurrected presence, I wanted to know more. What helped me the most was prayerfully reading Acts of the Apostles, all the resurrection stories and the Letter to the Hebrews. More lights went on in my mind.
Then a holy friend recommended I read the visions of Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich’s book, in Vol 4 about the resurrection events, “The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations.” As I read these stories I almost found myself there as if I was watching a movie. I want to be like Mary Magdalene seeing Jesus on Easter Sunday morning. Now I often pray, wanting to be enveloped and transformed in Christ’s glorious light.
Channels of God’s power
Jesus is the true light of the world as the I AM statement in St. John’s gospel tell us. This and the other I AM statements in John’s gospel are like channels of God’s power filling us in various ways so we can radiate Christ’s love in the way we live our daily lives. We are his lights, his living water and Eucharistic Bread. We are his lambs held close to his heart, living his new life on our way to heaven and learning the truth of his plan for us. One day in heaven we shall have a new body like his glorified body. I can hardly wait. Let Jesus draw you closer to himself. Try it; you’ll like it. You’ll get high and lifted up!
Next Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday as Jesus asked of St. Faustina and which Pope St. John Paul II implemented. Jesus gave us some new channels of his power for our lives. He gave us a new image with red and pale rays from his heart. He gave us a simple new rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. At times I change the world, “whole world,” and specify a particular group. For instance our country; on weekends I pray for all those who will preach that weekend.
May the Holy Spirit enlighten you with the glory and meaning of Jesus’ resurrection as you celebrate his resurrection. Have a wonder-filled Easter and Holy Season.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2017 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)