Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Today is a day of celebration! Jesus Christ has risen today! While Easter is a day of special remembrance of His resurrection, let us also remember his resurrection every day, and let this joyous occasion guide our lives. Below is an Easter reflection of mine.

"Jesus Christ has risen today! Hallelujah!" We hear this phrase so often on Easter, but do we fully grasp what this means? Do we understand the greatness of this event? Below in bold italics is a statement from our earthly shepherd Pope Benedict XVI speaking on the meaning of Easter.

"God exists: that is the real message of Easter. Anyone who even begins to grasp what this means also knows what it means to be redeemed."

God exists. Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection is proof that God exists because Jesus IS God. Once we understand this, we can better appreciate what He has done for us. On Friday, we felt great sorrow as we revisited Jesus' death on the cross. It is a painful remembrance of how we mistreated God. Jesus was beaten, betrayed, cursed, denied, falsely accused, scourged and ultimately crucified. Every time we sin against God, we are hammering a nail into his flesh. Despite all this, Jesus' death was necessary for our salvation because on the third day He rose from the dead. He defeated death and offered us hope of eternal life. He did this knowing full well that we are sinners. Before he died he said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." That statement was not just for those who were crucifying him at that present time, he was speaking on behalf of you and me. Those words of forgiveness are not restricted by time. He has offered us redemption. We should all be eternally grateful for the passionate love God has for us and His Divine gift of Mercy.

Below in bold italics is the Opening prayer at today's Easter mass service.

"God our Father, by raising Christ your Son you conquered the power of death and opened for us the way to eternal life. Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Take special mention of the phrase "opened for us the way to eternal life." If you notice, it does not say that by raising Christ your Son we all now have eternal life. Jesus' resurrection is not a free ticket to heaven. He has opened for us the way to eternal life. He has given us hope for eternal life. This is a great gift that he has given to us, but we must open and accept that gift. If eternal life was promised to all, how can you explain the passion of Christ? If we are all already saved, what need is there for redemption? God sent his only Son our Lord Jesus Christ to be the light of the world. He is our great example of how we are supposed to live our lives. He instituted the church and the sacraments to help us on our life journey. These sacraments also better prepare us for when our time on earth is up. Today we celebrate Christ's resurrection. We must bottle up this joy that we feel on this day and carry it with us every day. Jesus has offered us a great gift; a gift of eternal life. The only question remaining is will you and I accept this most wonderful gift? God bless!

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