Welcome to Easter!
Welcome to the most important celebration of our Church’s liturgical year – the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection and all the implications that flow from that one astounding event! The radical message of this day should make us want to shout out from the rooftops “Alleluia,” for indeed Jesus has been raised from the dead and we have been raised to new life with him.
And yet, the real tragedy is that for many of us we have domesticated the Easter event. We too often talk about “new life” in some ambiguous form, feeling good with Easter eggs and Easter bunnies bouncing around. For the first witnesses, the early believers and Christians down through the centuries, however, there was nothing domesticated about the Resurrection and the practical and implied impact this event had on their lives.
The resurrection and the message of the Good News radicalized the early believers and transformed them and their communities. The Resurrection gave them the courage and conviction to live out the radical love of Christ crucified and risen. The reason why there are still martyrs dying for the faith today is precisely because they have also embraced the radical love of Christ and are
prepared to ultimately bear witness to this love.
The radical faith that we proclaim today is that Jesus is alive. The angel at the tomb told the women: “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified; he has risen, he is not here”. Jesus is risen and went ahead of his disciples to meet them in their everyday lives. Whether you are a regular here or visiting, we are his disciples today. We are his disciples today and he comes to us in our lives; he comes in a way that is personal and specific to each of us.
Christ calls us individually, without exception, to radical discipleship! We are called to build up the Church, the community of believers here in our coastal and hinterland Catholic Parish, by witnessing to the radical love of Christ crucified, risen, and with us to the end of time. It is a lived response and that is what makes it so radical!
True radicalization does not start and end with violence but with the much harder and more profound message of the Good News where love conquers hate, forgiveness vanquishes revenge, hope triumphs over despair and death gives way to eternal life.
So, this year, don’t lose hope and don’t domesticate the Easter event! Our present life is to be valued and cherished because it is a gift from the one who gave us everything. This Easter why not allow yourself to be truly radicalized by Christ’s Resurrection? It is only by letting the mystery of the Resurrection seize us and informing all our thoughts, words and actions that we will we become truly Christian and true heirs of Easter glory.
Wishing you and yours every blessing for Easter
Fr Peter Brannelly