What is Easter?
The Church, Mother and teacher is going to use 7 readings today to educate us.
1st Easter remind us of the Goodness and Sovereignty of Gods creation. More powerful than personal and institutional sin. God still controls world, work, society and family
2nd Easter is SACRIFICE
In Today’s second reading, how can we not hear the voice of Christ in: “"Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust?" from Isaac. Also how can we not relate with the answer of Abraham: "God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust." Brothers and sisters, like St. Paul once said we are receiving much more than we could ask. Easter is SACRIFICE, OBLATION, GENEROUS AND ABSOLUTE SELF GIVING.
3th Easter Freedom
Israel’s army was so ridiculous compared to the Egyptian army. Like our tiny chapel of adoration compared to the many places was your friends and mine sin daily. The victory is coming by another way. God is going to attract Satan and all our enemies to his demise. This gives peace to the human heart. The Seductive voice of sensuality, false splendor of the world, and the seductive enemy God not only freed us ... He brought about justice and put the enemy in his place.
4th Easter is RECONCILIATION
In the fourth reading the prophet Isaiah says that the Lord is going to take to himself again the wife once before abandoned. What a beautiful image of our soul so many times unfaithful to the Lord. Yesterday we said that Lord took our place and was condemned on the cross. Today the Church's members that "are not worthy that The Lord enter under our roof" are going to experience the forgiveness and loving care of our God and creator. But that's not all, if we pay attention we hear also from the prophet: "You don’t need to fear anymore" is not only: I forgive you; is also i am not letting you go from my side. From now on you are going to stay with me.
5ft Easter is GRACE
"Why spend your money for what is not bread, your wages for what fails to satisfy?" "You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; come, without paying and without cost" My brothers and sisters, what we didn't deserve, what we couldn't buy, suddenly is going to be on this very altar. Easter is GRACE, because we receive the Eucharist, The Banquet that sustains heal and satisfy. That is why the 40 days of Lent: to creat in us hunger for LIGTH, LOVE AND HAPPI NESS.
If you still thinking that this is not for you listen again and open your heart: "For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful". Life without Jesus is sterile. Because of Easter I am fruitful, there is a meaning and recompense in all my sacrifices, sufferings, self denial, persecution, pain, poverty, obedience, chastity... there is a reason of why I do these things, it bears fruit. Everything finds its meaning in Easter. That tree is the cross and that fruit is Jesus. He is our Easter.
6th Easter is CONVERSION
Saint Paul in one of his letters encourages us to "Awake you who sleep". I will say to you and to myself this Easter: Awake you who sleep, Jesus is going to enlighten you. Easter is the little effort that the human being makes to see the great the LIGHT that comes from afar, from heaven to visit us. Let's do at least that: let's at least lift up our eyes and open our hearts. The LIGTH of Jesus, our Easter came sent by The Father, He has make a long journey and has suffered wounds in His feet and hands. His Body is broken and is covered with His own Blood... But finally He approaches the door of your heart. Open it! Open your heart and receive forgiveness. Repent and believe in Him. Easter is CONVERSION.
The prophet Baruch makes a complement to the Law of God in the Old Testament as the expression of the wisdom of God . But we have a new Law, Easter is the new Law brought by Christ. It is not only showing us what is good but also attracting us to that and assuring us that evil is being put in its place. "I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes"
7th Easter is COMMUNION
Easter is the time when God re-unites his people, which in biblical terms means COMMUNION. Communion of different countries and cultures throughout the centuries. We are not alone in this celebration. Angels and saints join us, all the power of the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, the tenderness and poetry of St. Augustine, the delicacy and purity of St. Rose of Lima... All songs of Angels and Archangels and of the people that have been born from Christ, The Only Lamb of God.
When we hear: "For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land." "You shall be my people, and I will be your God." we need to see in the same promise Abraham received from God: "You will be my people and I will be your God". Our God is not going to "change His mind" because of the sins of Israel... Our Lord Jesus Christ is not going to stop loving you after your many sins... Today He tells you: I love you and you are mine.
We can see this COMMUNION of God with us in two ways: In the past and in the present time, we see it As FIDELITY, and looking in the future it is PROMISE as St. Paul said: until God is all in all.
We are getting to the end of the pearls. Let's ask also St. Paul about Easter. Because for St. Paul, according to St. Catherine of Siena, all his words were related with His encounter with The Risen Lord.
St. Paul says that Easter is BAPTISM.
Baptism means PURIFICATION, NEW LIFE and PASSING FROM DEATH TO LIFE. This, my brothers and sisters is the night where all of us experience a re-birth. According to The Apostle of the Gentiles, Easter means VICTORY. He defeated the worst of the enemies: satan. Perfect VICTORY because what the enemy was pretending was at least to push Jesus to accept VENGEANCE, DISOBEDIENCE, PRIDE, and DISORDERED SELF LOVE in the Crucified SAVIOR... Jesus died loving The Will of His Father more than he loved Himself; He died asking forgiveness for His enemies... St. P Is inviting us to rest only in Jesus, everyone else is going to fail and disappoint us.
Finally let's ask St. Mark our patron and protector, what is Easter. Listen to the words of The Angel in the Gospel today: "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him". Easter is An EMPTY TOMB. Is also DEATH DESTROYED.
If we know this we need to do what Mark is saying: Tell everyone... "go and tell his disciples and Peter"... evangelize Peter? Brothers and Sisters, You all need to Be Easter so that priests, missionaries, bishops learn how and what to preach, how to hear confessions, how to evangelize.
Jesus, you are my faithful friend in life and in death. I discover in your rising my guarantee and hope of everlasting life. After such a show of love you deserve all my faith, all my hope and all my love. I offer these to you humbly and gratefully. You alone are the Lord of my life. You are the true purpose of my life. I long to see your loving face, Lord, but I must wait in hope to see you in eternity.
Lord, Jesus, increase my hope in you. Lord Jesus, if I really believed that this life was a preparation for the next, I would put a lot more effort into pleasing you more every day. Help me to believe that a Christian only rents his tomb and that his treasures are not stored up in this life, but the next.