From Fr. O’s corner………
Time flies. It is Tuesday in Holy Week already. As I was working on the several services for this week and Easter, it occurred to me to point out a few important things about Holy Week and Easter.
For me, without Holy Week, there would be no Easter. That is, without our Lord’s crucifixion, there would be no resurrection. Another way of saying this might be that without true pain, there would be no true Joy of New Life.
True pain occurs when we are able to walk the walk with Christ, trying to imagine and feel the pain He went through this week. He suffered such pains as abuse, false accusations, ridicule, torture, insults and finally, the agony and pain of being nailed alive on a wooden cross.
It is more poignant for us to also remember that Our Lord freely suffered all this because of His sacrificial LOVE for you and me.
We should not only feel our Lord’s pain, but our own as well, by honestly giving ourselves, and all that impedes us from being faithful and closer to God; to die on the cross with Him.
It is when we can truly feel His pain, our pain, to die with Him that we will truly resurrect with Him on Easter Day.
The power and gift of the Resurrection is given by God, based on God’s ongoing LOVE for us. We are given this New Life through God’s love to start anew, to be the Light of Christ to the world. We are given the power we need to be Light of Christ to the world through the resurrection, that is, the power of the Holy Spirit.
In this New Life we become a Resurrected People, as well as a Resurrected Church.
What then are the characteristics of a Resurrected People and a Resurrected Church? From my perspective they are one and the same, namely:
- We must become the Light of Christ to the world.
- We must forgive all who offends us as well as accept the forgiveness of all those we offend.
- We must love all other by seeing the Christ in them.
- We must be hospitable by inviting, welcoming and connecting with all whom we come across.
- We must love God with all our souls, strength, mind, and spirit.
- We must also live a lifestyle that exemplifies love for our neighbors as ourselves, irrespective of who they are.
- We must always give thanks to God for all of His blessings freely bestowed on us daily.
- Most importantly, we must live a lifestyle based on our Baptismal Covenant.
Above all, let us accept this powerful, enriching and gracious love from God, bask in it, thereby allowing it to flow through us to others in ways which will bring us all closer to God.
Through this Love, let us love one another as God Loves us, irrespective of who they are, where they come from, what they look like, and regardless of their color, remembering that we are all created by the same by God.
Finally my friends in Christ, let us truly welcome the gift of this New Life, with happiness and joy, giving thanks to God for His ongoing love for us.
May we as individuals and as a Church be ever blessed by the joy of Easter and all the blessings that come with it. Amen.