Sunday, April 4, 2010

Only Forty-Nine Days

Imagine that you are the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Take a look back on your life.
  • For three years, before being murdered, you have been teaching your Apostles and the crowds about peace and forgiveness.  
  • You've been healing the sick.  
  • You've raised the physically dead and the spiritually dead. 
  • You've been bringing the forgotten, outcasts and rejected to God. 
Then, you were illegally arrested.  
  • You were betrayed by one of your apostles, Judas Iscariot;
  • Denied by your most trusted friend, Simon Peter; 
  • Abandoned by the remaining ten apostles;
  • Condemned to death on false charges sworn to by liars;
  • Tortured and humiliated by a bunch of thugs and brutes in Roman army uniforms.
You are left to die in agony, nailed to a cross erected outside the city walls.
And after you die, you are laid to rest in a tomb owned by one of your discreet followers.

Three days after,through the power of God, you find yourself alive and conscious!
But you are not merely resuscitated: you are glorified!
Your physical body is now a divinely transformed body!
And you emerge -- no longer held in the confines of the tomb;
And no longer held by the confines of time or space or matter! 
You can be everywhere at every time, simultaneously; 
You can choose to be visible or invisible; 
Your divine life, and ability, and wisdom shine from you like the sun.
Cool, huh?

Imagine that YOU are the gloriously Risen Lord Jesus Christ.
If YOU were the Risen Christ, to whom would you go to first?
Now, if I were the Risen Jesus, I would find it difficult to resist going back:
  • Back to Pontius Pilate and his thugs, 
  • Back to the Sanhedrin council of cowardly elders who falsely condemned me, 
  • Back to to the crowds who ridiculed me.
I would use the fullness of my resurrected glory to show them the incredibly evil things they did.  
I would find it difficult to resist going back to rub it in.  
I would find it difficult to resist going back  to terrify them a bit, to shake them up. 

What would YOU do if you were the Risen Lord Jesus?

Now, please think about THIS: 
On the REAL Easter morning (NOT the imaginary one you and I might conceive),
On that most wondrous, real-life Easter morning,
Our Risen Lord Jesus did NOT do anything like what I would do in my imaginary scenario above. 
He did NOT go back!
He went FORWARD, toward the future!

The Risen Christ's first appearance is to Mary Magdalene, who had the courage to come to the tomb that morning, to provide a last shred of dignity to the Master, by completing the burial rites that had to be suspended two days before.
Then the Risen Christ appears to his friends, Peter and the other ten Apostles. 
Remember, that these are the friends who abandoned Him and, in the end, even denied knowing Him. 
Now, the Risen Christ appears to them, and greets them -- NOT with words of anger or disappointment — 
but with this greeting: “Peace be with you.”
WHY “peace be with you”?  
WHY NOT angry, condemning, vengeful words? 
Because ... what happened three days ago is done ... completed ... finished!
The Risen Lord Jesus said so Himself in his last breath on the cross: “It is finished.”
Now it is on to new things. 
NEW things.

Today you and I celebrate the anniversary of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead: Easter Sunday. 
This Feast Day is filled with the promise of NEW things.  
New things which can be accomplished ONLY through forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, peacefulness, compassion and love.

Today’s Easter Anniversary of Our Lord’s Resurrection OBLIGATES us to bury forever, 
the hatred, shame and selfish­ness of Good Friday -- of all of the Good Fridays in our life's history. 
Because ...  Good Friday’s crucifixion is done. Completed.  It is finished!
Today’s Easter Feast of the Resurrection obligates us to MOVE ON ... 
And to make NEW things happen,
Through our becoming as SELFLESS and as FORGIVING as Our Risen Lord Jesus is.

After today, we only have 49 days remaining in Easter Season. 
We’ve got to make it 49 days for new things in our lives — 
For bringing the joy of Christ’s Resur­rection into our homes and community,
and to our friends, and more so to our enemies.

This Easter Feast Day is filled with the promise of NEW things.
NEW things that can be brought into existence:
  • ONLY through FORGIVENESS of others;
  • ONLY through RECONCILIATION with others;
  • ONLY through ONLY through JUSTICE toward others;
  • ONLY through PEACEFULNESS toward others;
  • ONLY through COMPASSION toward others;
  • And ONLY through LOVE for others.
Think about that. 
The Risen Lord Jesus is SHARING -- with you and me --
His divine power to re-create:
To re-create ourselves, and our relationships with others, and with our world!
Cool, huh? 

So ...
And, this Easter reflection?
It is finished.  
Now... on to NEW THINGS!
What NEW THINGS do  YOU need to do during the remaining 49 days of this Easter Season?
What will YOU do first after Mass this morning? 
To whom will YOU go first?

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.