Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Today is the first day of the Easter Octave which is celebrated in a special way because we are the Church of the Resurrection. We had four baptisms at the Easter vigil and each of those new brothers and sisters were baptized because of the witness of our parishioners. Jesus calls us to bear witness to his love, to serve and show by our deeds that God loves us and those we meet. By his sacrifice Jesus showed a servant’s heart of love. He washed the feet of the twelve, including the feet of Judas. We must do the same.
Many are unsure of whether God loves them. We ourselves may not be sure God loves us. Why? Because we don’t love and value ourselves. But God chose us to be his sons and daughters, to be his own and we take Christ with us wherever we go.
St. Augustine says when talking about the Eucharist, “Receive what you are, now become what you receive.” We are here today because Christ is risen. This Easter season Jesus wants us to let him in to the fears and anxieties of our lives, so that he can free us to receive love and to give love.
Peter denied Jesus. But Jesus tells him “when you return strengthen your brothers.” The love of Jesus encompasses even those of us who have betrayed him. As Julian of Norwich says, “When God looks at our sin, what he sees is pain. We sin because we have been wounded and believe lies about ourselves, others and the world. We need to see others the way God sees them. We need to see their pain, not their sin.
May your gift to those you meet during this Easter season be grace, mercy and peace.