Easter: a season of joy and hope

It seems that so many people are angry, divided, and unable to see the good in others. Our country has nearly split in half along political lines, entrenched in a particular point of view, and unable to find ways to dialogue, to work together, or even to respect each other. It is a sad commentary on where we have come as Americans who share the same hopes and dreams for freedom and happiness. Our Church is suffering. Many have been hurt by the clergy abuse scandal, victims and their families most importantly, but all the faithful, clergy and religious are suffering from the sins of some and the inaction of others at times to address the problem. We too find ourselves divided against ideological lines, not often united in charity and faith with all members of the Church. On Mission for the Church Alive is requiring great things of us that aren’t always easy to give: openness to change, cooperation, kindness and patience. The hurt and anger in our hearts all too often gets in the way of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us to where God wants us to be.

How important we have Easter! We look to our Risen Savior who has conquered once and for all sin and death, evil and darkness and brings to each of us who believe the Easter gifts of joy, peace, hope and love. Our hearts long for these gifts and here is Lord, risen as he said, alive and present to us in every experience of our human journey. In our darkness and sadness, in our frustration and anger, in our disappointment and grief, in our lack of openness to change and our stubbornness of heart, in our inability to forgive others and to see in each person the spark of goodness and dignity, there he is, Christ himself, bringing the power of his light to the darkest moments of the human heart. Easter calls us to open our hearts to receive the grace of God poured forth so abundantly in and through the Passion, death and Resurrection of his Son. Easter brings to each of us and to the world in which we live a renewed hope that the worst of human nature has been redeemed and grace is stronger than sin. We hold fast to our faith in the Risen Lord. We pray fervently each day for his power, mercy, love and joy to flow into our hearts and through us, as believers and witnesses to the Easter mystery, into the hearts and lives of others and into our world. Life can be different; the transforming power of God’s love can bring unity, joy and peace to all who call upon him. May we never fail to trust in the redeeming power of the Easter Christ – alive and well, present and active – seeking to bring all things to their perfection as we await the fullness of the Kingdom – and relying on each one of us, people of faith, to be the messengers of that joy, hope and peace that Easter brings.