Happy Easter! Today, we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection. Not only has it been called the greatest miracle of Christ, it is also the foundation of the Christian faith. As St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. ” (1Cor 15:14)

But we believe that Jesus did rise from the dead and, in doing so, He defeated death itself so that whoever believes in Him can have eternal life. And just as there can be no Christianity without the first Easter, there can be no Easter without the passion and death of Christ. Jesus overcame the dark and sinister powers that had apparently destroyed Him, and His Resurrection marked the beginning of a new story of a people who, instead of fading away to be forgotten after their leader’s death, were energized to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ that continues even today. 

These early Christians experienced a new power in their lives; something beyond what words can describe. It began with their encounters with the Resurrected Christ, whom at first, they did not recognize. Later, however, they recognized Him to be the very person whom they had seen died on the cross. After several weeks these experiences came to an end, but the reality of the inner power in them continued. They bore witness to Him as the Word that came from God, who lived among them for a time, and now has been reunited with God. 

Jesus taught the people to love God with all of their hearts, souls, minds and strength; and that they love others as themselves. These early Christians remained faithful to Christ and His teachings, and they believed that Jesus had gone on before them to prepare a place for them, that where He was, they would later follow. And the Good News is that anyone who believes and remains faithful to Christ can hope that, one day, they too can be reunited with Christ in heaven.    

In our faith that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we have many things to hope for. What I hope for our community is undisrupted peace, spiritual growth and unity. But there is something more that I hope for – that each and every family in our parish may walk in the light of faith, in the assurance of hope and in the right path of love – so that one day, we may all share in the glory of Christ’s Resurrection.

Easter is about personal renewal – a time to renew one’s life and one’s spirit. Those of us who have taken Lent seriously in improving our relationships, habits, behavior and prayer life have begun to reap the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The grace of God has enabled us to achieve these little successes, we must only want to keep moving forward.