JESUS IS RISEN, ALIVE, TRANSFORMED, GLORIFIED and ALWAYS WITH US, Alleluia! Alleluia!
Acts 10:34a, 27-43; Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8; John 20:1-9
A Blessed Easter to all of you and your families!
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 and 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.
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, is 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.
Jesus also gave us a new Novena of Divine Mercy. Initially it was from Good Friday until the Saturday after Easter. Each day Jesus wanted us to bring a different group of souls to him for a special blessing. As I looked at his intentions and the problems in our world today, when I finish nine days I start all over again. I beg Jesus to pour out more love on that group of people. As thousands of us daily pray the chaplet and this novena we can expect great divine power to flow. It is awesome. If you haven’t started, begin now. Amen! There are more parts to Jesus’ messages to the world through St. Faustina, but enough for now.
May our risen and glorious Jesus teach us much more about his wonderful plan to fill us with more of his love. May this Easter thrill you with more of the wonder of Christ’s love for us.
Great Easter blessings,
+Fr. Bob Hilz.
(© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)