He is Risen, indeed!
Rejoice! Jesus is Risen from the dead!
During Holy Week, we walked with Jesus through His Passion and Death and it culminates here, today, as we celebrate the mystery of the Resurrection! Each liturgy brought us deeper into the mystery of God’s super abundant love for each of us – not just collectively, but for you. He did this for you, so that you might have life and have it abundantly!
By His dying on the cross, He canceled out our sins.
By His rising from the dead, he gave us eternal life!
Presently, there is not much hope out there in the world. The war in the Ukraine continues. Governments, societies, and cultures are becoming increasingly anti-Christian by promoting agendas and policies that run contrary to the truth, beauty, and goodness of God and the human person. The dignity of the human person is being attacked. Looking around at things in this world, we see much darkness and evil on the rise. Instead of creation, we see destruction. Instead of movement towards life and divine order, we see movement towards death and evil chaos. We heard in the Passion of the Lord according to Luke on Palm Sunday as Jesus spoke with Judas and those who arrested Him at the Garden of Gethsemani, “this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”
My brothers and sisters, it looked like Jesus lost on Good Friday. When He was hanging on the cross and giving His life for us, it looked like death conquered life, slavery conquered freedom, and darkness smothered the light. All was lost. When we look around our world and our society today, it looks like we lost. Things don’t seem to be trending well. But we know differently!
Jesus by His Resurrection brings life, freedom, and ushers us out of darkness into His wonderful light! We no longer walk in the darkness of sin and death, but we rejoice in the light of virtue and life! In His Resurrection, the chains of slavery to sin have been broken and we have been set free. Death no longer has victory. Life conquers death! Freedom conquers slavery! Light shatters darkness!
Jesus brings us hope! As St. John Paul II often said, “We are a people of hope and ‘Alleluia’ is our song!” My brothers and sisters, this hope is Jesus brings to us and what we bring to the world. Jesus is hope! Jesus is life! Jesus is freedom! Jesus is light! Our brothers and sisters in our communities, our families, our work places, our social and civil groups, need Jesus. They need hope, life, freedom, and light. Not as the world gives, but as Jesus gives.
Our mission as disciples of Jesus Christ is to live in the hope, the life, the freedom, the light He gives us and to share that with everyone we meet! In these 8 weeks of Easter, I challenge us, our St. James family, to do things that will open our hearts and lives to Jesus in a deeper way so that we can then share Him with others. For these next 8 weeks until we celebrate Pentecost (and beyond if you want to continue), I encourage each of us to spend 10 minutes every day reading the Gospel of the day. Read it once slowly. Read it again. Put yourself in the scene as a character or as an extra character. Think about a word or a phrase that struck you.
Where can you find the Gospel of the Day? Here are some places you can find it. On your phone, you can access them through our My Parish app (see the poster in the narthex or the bulletin to download it), Magnificat, the Word Among Us, Hallow. Online you can find them through the USCCB, EWTN, and other websites. If you want something to hold in your hand, you can get Magnificat (visit www.magnificat.com), The Word Among Us (we have a limited supply each month so it might be good to subscribe at www.wau.org), or Give us this Day (visit www.giveusthisday.org).
If each of us over the next 8 weeks gets to know Jesus by spending time with Him in the daily Gospel, our hearts will fill with the hope, life, and light He so desires to give us!
Christ is Risen!
May the Lord abundantly bless each of you and your families throughout these 8 weeks of the Easter Season!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin