Easter Sunday is the apex of the liturgical calendar, the key to the season of Lent. The resurrection of Jesus is what centers our faith, the mighty deed done by God in relation to us and our need for salvation.
That’s all the facts of the matter; but what really matters is how each one of us lives into the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus. This season of the resurrection beginning today, Monday of the Octave of Easter, provides the opportunity to plumb the depths of that mystery by discovering again and again how it impacts our lives.
I’ll be bold to say that wherever we encounter Christ, the effects of His resurrection extend to us. Encountering Christ clearly flows from the reception of the sacraments: when I celebrate the Eucharist; when I receive forgiveness for my failings and sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to name but two of the sacraments.
Recently I had the privilege of administering the sacrament of the sick to my sister-in-law. Some of her family and friends gathered around her as she lay quietly yet alert in her hospice bed. The Risen Christ was obviously present to us all as we prayed, read a gospel passage, applied healing oil and spoke the words of blessing for Dolores.
These weeks of celebrating Easter invite us to set our sights on Jesus, raised from the cruel death of the cross by God’s loving hands only to come alive again as the Risen Christ present to us all in so many remarkable and simple ways. Our task is to open ourselves to the Risen Christ, to the many ways that He is present to us and to continue to grow as women and men of faith, hope, and love because of His presence. Our task these next few weeks during Easter season is to discover Christ in those persons we meet and in the situations that make up our lives.
Lord Jesus, be present to and through me these days of Easter. Help me to grow into the mystery of your being raised from the dead. Be with me as I discover your presence to me in the contours of my life. Make me open to your presence and the faith, hope and love that flow from encountering you.
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