We think of Easter as a perennial event, as sure as the return of spring, the blooming of the daffodils. It is reassuring and comforting. Yet should it be?
Should it be rather a shock, a jolt to our comfortable lives, something that changes everything?
For those first followers of Jesus, it was definitely the latter. Three days after his gruesome crucifixion, Jesus’ body was not in the tomb! He has been raised from the dead and has appeared among us! He really is the Son of God!
That certainly changes things.
Pope Francis, in his new book, The Church of Mercy, underlines how incredibly life-altering the resurrection was — and should be for us today. "What began as a simple act — going to the tomb — has now turned into an event, a truly life-changing event. Nothing remains as it was before….Jesus no longer belongs to the past but lives in the present and is projected towards the future; Jesus is the everlasting ‘today’ of God. That is how the newness of God appears to the women (who first saw him), the disciples, and all of us: as victory over sin, evil, and death — over everything that crushes life and makes it seem less human." (The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church, Loyola, 2014) Hence the joy that should envelope our Easter celebrations. For Francis, it is a joy that will infect our whole beings. We will be inspired to look at life, our family, friends and work in a whole new way. And treat each other as valuable gifts.
Let this Easter fill our hearts and make us new: people of joy and love, inspired by God’s earth-shaking gift to the world.
From Novalis to all our friends, we extend to you our deepest Easter blessings.