Our Resurrection message

Transition is one of those words that evokes a multitude of feelings and emotions ranging anywhere from hope to fear. During our Lenten journey, many of us experienced a shift in our lives. We sacrificed something we loved, or made it a point to be Spiritually aware of our surroundings and those in need. Whatever you chose to do during Lent, somehow and in some way, changed you, made you more aware of the suffering of others, acutely reminding you that so many go without food and basic necessities, or whatever tied in to what you had chosen to do during Lent.  Regardless of your choice, none of us walks away without at least some subtle change. 

This past week we have experienced a wide range of emotions, beginning with Palm Sunday and Jesus’ jubilant entrance into Jerusalem. We pictured ourselves seated around the Passover table breaking bread with Christ, drinking from the cup, a sense of belonging, of family and unity taking hold of us. We, too, were confused by the Words of Christ, telling us as we sat and ate with Him, that one of us would betray Him. Then angered by Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial and saddened by the fact that His followers all abandoned Jesus. 

With Good Friday, a sense of rage washes over us at the injustice of Christ’s wrongful death and crucifixion, and that so many stood by doing nothing, leaving us with a feeling of helplessness and frustration.  Yet, would we have done any differently? We even cried out with Jesus as He called out to His Father, wondering why He felt alone and abandoned; many of us fully understanding that desperation and loneliness when we feel that our own families do not understand or care, or seem so distant while we are in the midst of our suffering. We could not bear to watch, but yet dared not look away.

However, had Jesus not been willing to take on this burden, to allow such a drastic transformation to take place, what would have become of us? Where would we be now? Thankfully Jesus accepted His role, allowing Himself to take on our sins, opening the gates of Heaven for each and every one of us, conquering death forever; giving us the keys to eternal life. By taking up His cross, He chose to take on our sins, lessening our burdens, daring us to change to make that transition into the people that God longs for, claiming us as His own. 

Then on the third day Jesus rises from the dead. We, too, stand before the empty tomb, hesitant at first, taking small steps, uncertain. Do we fully grasp what has been done for us? Do we understand what it means? 

As we celebrate Easter Sunday, rejoicing at Jesus’ Resurrection, a promise to us that death no longer holds us captive, do we know in our hearts that we are different and that we are loved beyond measure, worth so much more than any precious metal, and that there is always hope? Will our faith bring us to the realization that light will always shine through the darkness, that Jesus is our light? Jesus through His death and Resurrection freed us from all pain and suffering, allowing us to be what God has always intended for us, even with the full knowledge that we may not always fully understand His ultimate sacrifice. 

So let us take another look at the word — “transition.” How will you allow the feelings that washed over you during this holiest of Church seasons transform you? Do you know where to find the Risen Christ? Will others know where to find Christ? Are we willing to show them the way? Remember, “Yours are the Hands, yours are the Feet, yours are the Eyes, you are His Body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours” (Teresa of Avila). Are you willing to become the catalyst that helps others make the change as well? Are you ready to bring light into the lives of others, creating a shift, regardless of how big or small? 

This is the message of the Resurrection: we are now His Hands and Feet and we know where to find Christ. He is in those who need our love, forgiveness and compassion, our understanding and care; in the marginalized, the homeless, the sick and dying. We find Him in the bereaved and lonely. We are an Easter people, full of hope, light and love, so let us go out into the world dispelling the darkness that shrouds so many of our brothers and sisters, giving them the hope of the Resurrection. 

Happy Easter! Alleluia! Christ is Risen. Alleluia!

Anchor columnist Rose Mary Saraiva is the Events Coordinator and Bereavement Ministry for the diocesan Office of Faith Formation. rsaraiva@dfrcs.com

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