Dear Brothers and Sisters –
There are signs of new life all around us: Spring is bursting forth. Our Lenten environment has been replaced by signs of life. And we once again sing “Alleluia,” our Easter exclamation.
Easter is the original Christian feast. On Easter Sunday we celebrate that love is stronger than death, that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. This is the centerpiece of our Christian faith. It is what fills believers with hope.
Novelist and poet Wendell Berry, in Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, concludes his poem with this puzzling challenge: Practice resurrection.
What might this mean?
Theologian and spiritual writer Megan McKenna recounted a powerful vignette that sheds light on this practice in her book, Not Counting Women and Children: Neglected Stories from the Bible. She describes how she was giving a parish mission. She was studying the story of Jesus raising the Widow of Nain’s son from the dead from Luke’s gospel with the parishioners when someone called out harshly, “Have you ever brought someone back from the dead?”
McKenna’s response was “Yes.” She went on to say, “Every time I bring hope to a situation, every time I bring joy that shatters despair, every time I forgive others and give them back their dignity and the possibility of a future with me and others in community, every time I listen to others and affirm them and their life, every time I speak the truth in public, every time I confront injustice – yes – I bring people back from the dead.”
At Easter, we remember and give thanks for the Spirit that raised Jesus triumphantly from the dead. We remember and give thanks that the risen Christ has poured out that same spirit in us through our baptism. We remember and give thanks that this Spirit is at work in us through our believing, our hoping, and our loving. And we remember and give thanks that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead gives us the strength and courage to practice resurrection daily.
A great joy for us all is the new life given to our Church and our parish community by those last night who were baptized, received into the Church, confirmed, and/or received their first Communion. We are grateful to God for their witness and enthusiasm and we welcome them as part of our community. We also look forward to the ways in which they will add to and deepen our parish life. Special thanks to their catechists, our catechists for our Children’s Faith Formation, Rite of Christian Initiation of Children, and Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults programs. We are grateful for their for their care and dedication.
The entire staff of St. Ignatius Parish joins me in wishing you every grace and blessing of this Easter Season. As we strengthened and supported each other in our Lenten practices of praying, fasting, and almsgiving, so, now, let us strengthen and encourage each other to “practice resurrection” each day of this blessed Easter Season.
Oremus pro invicem,