We rejoice in the great gift of life. But as we grow older this gift is overshadowed by experiences of illness, pain, and loss. The certainty of an ever-approaching death often makes life itself seem meaningless.
God in Jesus Christ has wonderfully answered this prayer. Jesus, moved by the Spirit, inaugurated the Kingdom of God by healing, casting out evil spirits, calling all to conversion and offering forgiveness and the fellowship of love to all who believed his message. He surrendered to God’s will in all things. He endured the opposition of His religious leaders, physical suffering, loneliness and even the sense of being abandoned by His Abba as He was dying.
Jesus lived and died in solidarity with all of us humans. He rose above our human nature in forgiving and loving those who killed Him and in being raised from the dead by God. He broke the power of
death by enduring it and then conquering it. Jesus was raised to a new and eternal life and offered all who believe this amazing grace too.
Women were the first witnesses of this cosmic miracle. Their incredible message caused Peter and John to race to the empty tomb. Mary Magdalen wanted to cling to her beloved Lord. Thomas refused to believe without certain proof. The apostles were paralyzed with fear and doubt until Jesus showed He wasn’t a ghost. Initially some did not recognize Him but the experience of their encounter with the resurrected Christ changed them completely. They became new people. They found a new life.
The Risen Jesus brought peace, forgiveness and a new creation. This was an incredible experience of God’s love. It was a new covenant written on the heart. The joy and wonder of it all could only find expression in a mission to share this hope and love with others.
Columban Fr. Frank Hoare lives and works in Fiji.