My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Every year we celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ (Easter). Every year we acclaim, “Christ is Risen Alleluia! Alleluia!” Every year we celebrate this incredible mystery of eternal salvation with Church, family and friends. Each year we should ask ourselves, does this mystery truly resonate in my life? Am I allowing this mystery of the risen Lord to transform my life? Does Jesus actually make a difference in the way I live here and now? Or have I just been taking this amazing gift of salvation for granted?
Reflecting on the dialogue exchange between Martha and Jesus at her Brother Lazarus’ tomb says it all as Jesus tells her: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Then Jesus adds, “Do you believe this?” (Jn 11:25-26)
Do we believe this? Easter is the time in the Church’s year when we contemplate the joy of moving from the impenetrable gloom of death, as Jesus is laid in the tomb, to witnessing his radiance as He is raised from the dead. God shows us his ultimate gift of mercy by bringing forth life from death.
This Paschal Mystery calls us to continue Christ’s mission, inviting other people to know God’s saving power. Consider Christ’s Ascension, which marks the beginning of the mission of the Church. Christ gives the Apostles the mission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20). Soon after this, the Apostles receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, empowering them for this mission. Thus the saving work of Christ continues through the Church, that is, through you and me.
Just as Jesus offered himself for all of us, we are invited to accompany Him on a journey that lasts a lifetime. Through our baptism, we too have become sharers in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus and beneficiaries of his loving mercy.
For all of us, Easter is an opportunity to renew the fervor of our own Baptism and to commit ourselves to being true disciples of Jesus Christ. Do we truly believe this? If so, let us sincerely shout with joy the Easter acclamation, “Christ is Risen, Alleluia! Alleluia!”
Together with Fr. Anthony, Fr. Robain, Quizzer our seminarian, and our Pastoral Staff, we pray that this Easter season will be a time of renewed faith as we become true disciples of the Risen Lord.
Rev. John L. Poncini