In the opening prayer of our Mass today, we ask God, “May the Easter mystery we celebrate be effective throughout our lives.” Let me suggest three ways in which our happiness at the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ can be effective throughout our lives.
First, it should produce joy in our hearts and in our demeanor. If we truly love Our Lord, then we will know something of the excited joy that the apostles and Saint Mary Magdalen felt on that first Easter Sunday, and that joy in Christ’s victory over death will be with us always. Do others see us as joyous people, delighted by our relationship with the risen, triumphant Christ?
Second, it should produce peace in our hearts and lives. Our Lord’s very first words to his apostles on that Easter night were “Peace be with you.” Peace is defined as the tranquillity of order. After the disorder of the crucifixion of Jesus, the divine order of things is restored by his rising from death to new life. And even when we experience disorder, upset, and even chaos in our lives, we can cling firmly to Jesus, who is the source of all order, all peace. And we will project this attitude of peace to others. As angels have said more than once in the Scriptures, don’t be afraid!
Third, our celebration of Our Lord’s resurrection should motivate us to love one another. Jesus died for each of us; he rose for each of us. Love is not always easy, since we human beings have idiosyncrasies and peculiarities that grind upon the nerves of others. We must sometimes struggle to love, to forgive. But the pagan contemporaries of the early Christians used to say, “Behold those Christians, how they love one another.”
On the infamous 9/11, radical Muslims, shouting “Allah is great; Allah is good”— the beginning of all Muslim prayer — flew those planes into buildings, killing themselves and some 3000 others. There is something terribly wrong with that concept of Allah, the one true God. Let’s be careful to project an image of God that is marked by joy, peace, and mutual love. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.