Daily Reflection
May 2nd, 1999
Thomas Shanahan, S.J.
Acts 6:1-7
I Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12
In different ways each of the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter reflect on the overall theme of the resurrection of Jesus.  How is Easter meant to touch into the very nitty-gritty daily life of the early disciples(Acts)?  A reflection on the church that is both universal and particular – a hymn to the church in the context of a specific church (1 Peter). And, finally, the role that Jesus plays in our journey towards the Father.  Each of these themes lovingly looks at the implications of Easter for each of us individually and all of us as the community of faith.

I frequently ask myself, "are you an Easter person?"  I know that I desire that, but often the answer comes back in the negative.  Maybe the real question is "are we (as the People of God and community of faith) Easter people?"  And most likely the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.

There is lots in this world that militates against our being Easter People.  Just look at what’s dominating the daily news these days.  The murder and maiming of innocent young men and women at Columbine High School, the murder and maiming of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, the seemingly endless bombing and destruction of  places and persons throughout Yugoslavia.

In other words, we are confounded by death and dying experiences.  In each of the death-dealing activities surrounding the above examples, there is a deeper toll inflicted by the anti-human activities and thus evil actions that dampen our souls.  What is the way out of these and similar experiences that bombard us daily?  Can there be any sanity in insane activities like these?

There are no easy answers to Columbine and to Kosovo.  They challenge us to dig even deeper within ourselves not to reason with the unreasonable, but to discover there the reality of what it means to be Easter People.  Death and destruction of the innocent is not the end of the story.  The hope of  resurrection is more than a match for death.

As  today’s gospel reminds us in Jesus’ own words, "I am the way, the truth and the life."  That means that the Paschal  Mystery, the reality of Jesus’ cruel death and the joyous resurrection becomes our answer (not an easy answer by any means).  We are Easter People when we acknowledge in faith that the death-dealing events both of our personal lives and of our world are countered by the death-defying love of God in the life, death and resurrection of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ – the Paschal Mystery for us.

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