My dear sisters and brothers,
Often, in the early Church, Christians would greet one another by saying, joyfully, “Christ is Risen!” The other person would reply, “Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!”
Imagine if we tried to greet one another in this manner today! People would think that we were crazy. Individuals would be too embarrassed to use these words in public. Others would probably make fun of us. Family members would try to keep us quiet.
But the news of the Resurrection is very Good News indeed. The words “Christ is Risen!” are the source of our joy; these words capture the joy of the Gospel. Why? Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, death has no more power. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, life wins. The death that comes at the end of our earthly lives now becomes an open door, through which we pass into eternal life, new and transformed life. This is very Good News.
We all know that there are many kinds of “death.” We, our sisters and brothers, friends and neighbours, experience many kinds of “death”—the loss of hope, health, dreams or relationships, for example. There are many “tombs” in which people are placed—tombs of despair, of poverty, depression, judgment or fear. For example, today, the light of the Resurrection shines into these tombs, calling people from death to new life. The power of the Resurrection emboldens us to challenge all forms of death and despair. Easter calls us to live in and BE the Joy of the Gospel for those around us and for those in most need of experiencing the joy, hope and life that Jesus is and brings.
Easter is about possibility, transformation and renewal, in the next life, and also in this life. We are an Easter People. The wonder of the Resurrection is certainly that eternal life is offered to us. We must also understand it to mean that being Easter People means being instruments of new life, right relationship, transformation and renewal. The light of Resurrection reaches into tombs of all kinds. God raised Jesus from death. Through us, God continues to raise people to new life. As poverty, oppression and pain fall in the face of compassion, love and generosity, the power of the Resurrection becomes real in this life as well as in the next.
May the risen Lord Jesus open our hearts and minds to new possibilities? It is my prayerful wish that, the joy of the Resurrection fill your lives and pour out from all of us, waking up and transforming our families, homes, communities, parishes and diocese.
Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!