For some 15 weeks we celebrated the Holy seasons of Lent and Easter; reflecting, repenting, celebrating the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord. But now that the season is over does that mean that the Easter message is shelved until next year?...
Not at all.! To witness Christ Crucified and Christ Risen has been the mission of the Church since the Pentecost Day experience of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and lives of the faithful gathered in the upper room nearly 2000 years ago. And that too remains the challenge for us; to witness that same Christ as the Easter people of today to a world that desperately needs the message.
Crucifixtion is pain and it was always intended to be painful and never enjoyable. Jesus was no masochist and acccepted the cross only out of a greater love for us and the Father.
I can't speak for everybody but I know I used to frequently grumble about the cross I carry which was not exactly a great witness to Christ crucified. Yet when I reflect on those painful times in my life I realize that they were always periods of greart grace especially those moments where I could say "forgive him/her/them for they know not what they do"
The institutional Church, herself, is going through a painful experience these days with all the sexual abuse scandals again; indeed our accusers shout "crucify her, crucify her! " seeking vengeance for the pain inflicted on some of the flock by those who were supposed to shepherd that flock. Pope Benedict XVI said on his trip to Portugal "the greatest persecution of the church doesn't come from enemies on the outside but is born from the sins within the church,". He also added "the church needs to profoundly relearn penitence, accept purification, learn forgiveness but also justice." As an Easter people we need to see this crucification as a purification that stems from a God who loves his bride so much tha he cannot, will not leave her stained by sin. But it's not so much the amount of suffering we endure but how we endure it that will witness Jesus Christ as Savior of the world. Can we utter His 7 last words: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34), "This day you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43), "Woman, behold your son." (John 19:26-27), "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46), "I thirst." (John 19:28), "It is finished." (John 19:30), "Into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46)
This is a witness of hope, so the question is "does my life witness hope?" On that Sunday morn when the stone was rolld away and Jesus walked out, he showed his victory over sin AND death and gave us the hope of eternal life. We have been redeemed, ransomed, acquitted, absolved from the penalty of damnation for our sin.
Are we walking in the light of the redeemed or still lhiding in the dark as if we have no hope? Head up or head down?
I see too many joyless Christians, too many angry Christians, too many powerless Cristians these days. They've forgotten that the stone was rolled away, that love overcame sin, life overcame death. We need to witness to the truth of the Risen Christ wth joy, with love and with power which is why we end the season with Pentecost so we can continue the journey under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It's not that we grin while bearing our cross but rather carrying it all the way to glory knowing that our story will not end there but under the radiant light of Easter dawn.
The reason why we are here today is because Christ died and rose again, and gave us his Spirit and that the men and women in the upper room came out of their own tomb of despair on that Pentecost morning. The reason that the Church will be here tomorrow is because we, a redeemed people, empowered and sanctified by the Holy Spirit will like the Apostles on Pentecost, kick open the doors and windows that keep us locked in and proclaim "He is Risen".
This is living the message of Easter now that the season is over. Peace.
Hi, welcome to my weekly blog. I'm deacon Michel and I love blogging and the healthy exchange of constructive ideas. Now my mind has been known to wander on a million different things all at once so don't be surprised at what you find here. I often scratch my head and go 'Huh?' at my own thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts with me.
This blog reflects MY ongoing Christian journey: insights gained through the Holy Spirit, my experiences, my studies, my relationships. The content of this website is solely that of Deacon Michel du Chaussee, and does not represent the Archdiocese of Miami or any other entity of the Roman Catholic Church in any official capacity. Needless to say, I hope that none of my writings are contrary to the doctrines of faith and morals that are reflected in Sacred Tradition or as taught and guarded by the Magisterium of the Church or to the truths of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
For I take seriously what a very wise man has often said to me:
"Ordination is not license for private practice" - Msgr. A. Andersen