Resurrection from the Pandemic!
Dear Parish Family,
Though we were able to celebrate Holy Week liturgies last year, many were still leery about whether or not they should come back to Mass. As we exit from two years of Covid restrictions, this will be for many of us the first Easter Mass in two years! If you are among them, WELCOME BACK! We are so happy to have you back in the fold! That is truly cause for joy, and for that, we exclaim, “Alleluia!”
In a certain sense, you, like Jesus, have risen from the dead!” How so? We as Christians recognize Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE! “For in him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The normative way that Jesus imparts to us his divine life is through the sacramental life of the Church. By the offering of his Body to us at Holy Eucharist, we become one flesh, one body, with Christ the Lord. We become whom we eat, the Body of Christ!
It is in this context that Jesus also tells us that “without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We might think, “Those are bold words, Jesus. Really, we can do nothing without you?” Yes, nothing. Nothing of eternal value, that is, because the whole meaning of our earthly lives in the grand scheme of things is whether or not we have fulfilled the will of God for our lives. After all, the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. To the extent that we have gone our own separate ways and love other things apart from our love of God, in the end, all of it amounts to nothing. All our earthly accomplishments, done apart from the love and glory of God, ultimately amounts to nothing. And so, to be apart from the living God, the principle, source, and destiny of all things, is to live as if we were the walking dead, lifeless.
But now, you and I are here in God’s house, and we are desirous of being raised from the realm of the walking dead! By uniting ourselves to Jesus, who tells Martha and by extension to us, “I am the resurrection and the life,” we plug ourselves in to the one who has defeated sin and even death itself. As with any relationship, however, we must continually live in him. The moment we unplug from Jesus is the moment our lives lack true power; we experience a blackout that leaves us without power.
Therefore, my invitation to you during this Triduum and Easter season is this: now that you have returned and come back to Life, “stay with us.” Stay plugged in to Jesus. We repeat the words of the two disciples who were brought back from the realm of the walking dead, as they walked with Jesus to Emmaus, “Remain with us, Lord” (Luke 24:29). The often busy, chaotic, and divisive tenor of the world easily sucks the life out of us, but if we’re plugged into the Source, we will be able to get back up after falling, as Jesus did on the way to Calvary, and finally reach the resurrection of Easter after any Good Friday we face in life. Once again, welcome back! Welcome back from the realm of the dead to the abundant life that Jesus offers us!
Yours in the Risen Christ,
Fr. Chas Canoy