30 Mar CHRIST IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!
Dear OLPH Family and Friends!
CHRIST IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!_
Certain events can really cause sudden and dramatic transformation. That was certainly so for the Apostles on that first Easter. Their Master had been arrested, tried, tortured, executed and buried hastily. They were afraid of suffering the same fate and were in hiding. Three days after the Lord’s death astounding news reached them – Jesus had been raised to new life.
The stories we will hear during the next few weeks will depict numerous transformations. First of all, Jesus was transformed. On Good Friday, we called to mind the bruised and battered body of Jesus, betrayed by one of His closest friends. He was sorrowfully laid in the borrowed tomb and deserted by virtually everyone except a few women. On Easter Sunday, the risen Lord emerged from the tomb, was heralded by angels, spoke words of reassurance and peace to his disciples. He still displayed the marks of his crucifixion but He was no longer in pain. He suddenly appeared before the disciples, even though the doors were locked. He was both different and familiar. He was a stranger and yet a friend.
In all four Gospels, the transformation of Jesus moved Him to proclaim that The Reign of God was to move beyond Galilee and Judea. From then on, the Kingdom was to extend to the ends of the earth. In accepting that mandate, the disciples were themselves transformed. Their transformation was a movement from cowardice to bravery. This was especially observed in Peter. The transformation was not confined to individuals like Peter. The community of faith itself was transformed by what God had done in Jesus. One of the most striking things about that young community was its willingness to pool limited resources for the common good. The Acts of the Apostles described how they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. The most remarkable characteristic about those earliest followers of Jesus was their prayerfulness. That transformed community, thanks to the witness of charity and prayer continued to attract new members. They not only attracted new members but did so quickly. The resurrection of Jesus, and its consequent effect on Peter and the other followers of Jesus, invites us to hope for our own transformation. The hope of Easter is the hope for a renewed world, a world of peace and justice, a world of compassion and goodness, a world of mercy, faith and truth. May we as faithful disciples continue that great work of transformation. It is Jesus who makes it happen. CHRIST IS RISEN! ALLELUIA! Fr. Ron