Easter Sunday - Seeing God in the World
- Wednesday, April 19, 2017
- By Father Robin Ruder-Celiz
And so the story continues. We have journeyed through Lent and Holy Week and followed faithfully the steps of Jesus, those life changing and formative moments in his life as he makes his way to the Cross.
If it wasn’t for today, the events of this past week, Jesus being betrayed by Judas, abandoned in the garden when everything seemed to have fallen apart, to his inevitable death, would be meaningless and a great big waste of time.
If it wasn’t for today would we care to remember Jesus the way in which he asked us to remember him – the breaking of bread, pouring of wine and the sharing of a meal and resources in a world where many go hungry.
If it wasn’t for today, would our families, friends and relationships that we form have any significance or meaning; in a world where many walk alone.
If it wasn’t for today, would we still have hope in ourselves and humanity when we live in a world where pride and intolerance prevails and where bombs go off in churches and missiles are launched - “just because.”
If it wasn’t for today, would we believe that the One who died for us would ultimately save us from ourselves and where we can live in paradise enjoying the vision of God forever. If it wasn’t for today, I am not sure any of this would be possible.
This is why we need today. This is why we gather as the faithful community to join with Mary and bear witness to the great truth that Jesus’s time with us on earth has purpose and meaning. Because of today we know that God came down to us in the flesh, in our brokenness, in the death and dying of life and said, “I want to go there” I want to go there where you are in the muck and the darkest, most lonely corners of your lives and bring you out of that place to a new life, a new world with new possibilities and meaning. What’s more, because of today, when we think about it and reflect back on those times when we are broken, abandoned and nailed to a cross, we find that God is already there waiting for us, waiting to deliver us to new life.
We live in a world, and perhaps in the last year especially we are reminded again and again that people, you, me and our neighbors die on crosses every day. The crosses look different now. But they are just as real and just brutal as they ever have been.
So we need today, especially now, we need to today to bear witness to the fact that it doesn’t matter how many times we find ourselves on a cross we know that God is already there to bring us and the world back to life.
Today, because so many people still suffer, are still alone are still persecuted for who they are and what they believe our work is even more poignant as we bear witness for them and ourselves and to those who ignite bombs and launch missiles and demonstrate that it doesn’t matter because in the end, the God of love reigns.
When we proclaim and believe this very good news of God overcoming death we do not do so to make light of real nasty and tragic events in our lives and in the world. We do so because we know this to be true, that violence, war, hatred and discrimination is not going to win, no matter how hard the dark forces in world try. We proclaim because of today, that the God of love who goes by many names came into this world not just once, but every day since turning darkness to light. Because of today we proclaim that today and every other day to come the God of love will continue to be in this world in its brokenness and fragility constantly turning darkness into light.
So our work now is clear. We join with Mary Magdalene and leave the tomb and proclaim that we have seen the Lord. We continue into the world and into our lives looking and bearing witness to those places where we have seen the Lord alive and at work in the world. For those of us who profess the Christian faith we know that it is impossible to sit idly by week in and week out being passive recipients of our faith. Easter Day compels us to action, to leave our comfort zones and to live out our faith in our daily lives. It is time to leave the tomb and return once more to our lives and continue the journey where God has given us responsibility as God’s witnesses especially now when the world needs the good news of today more than ever.