This is Easter! It isn’t a myth—it isn’t just a hope: it’s our reality. Christ was dead and Christ is now alive—and we will live forever! Isn’t that fantastic news?
Well, it should be. But the question is—do we believe it? I mean, really believe it? Or do we have “low-grade faith?” You know, it’s kind of like having a low-grade fever: we walk through our faith in a fog, half asleep, achy and tired. Maybe we caught the high-level “fever of faith” when we were kids; but then the newness wore off. Can we believe feverishly anymore?
Dr. Eben Alexander was a Christian “more in name than in actual belief” who had lost the fever. But then meningitis put him into a coma; and when he awakened he told a remarkable story of visiting heaven, seeing sights and hearing unimaginable music, even talking with others he knew to be dead. Suddenly he had the intense faith that he thought he had lost.
Maybe you doubt it even happened. But can’t we use his story to spark our own religious imagination about what lies after death? Eben learned “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever; you have nothing to fear.” He’d been a skeptic who never believed in near-death experiences. But he experienced God and all creatures in a divine unity: “Everything was also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs on a Persian carpet, or a butterfly’s wing.”
We are much more than our brains and bodies. The miracle of Easter is what has made this possible. So let us rejoice, and be glad in it! And let’s go on with the journey!
“We Christians believe and know that Christ’s resurrection is the true hope of the world, the hope that does not disappoint….The words heard by the women at the tomb are also addressed to us: ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but he has risen’ (Luke 24:5-6). Death, solitude and fear are not the last word. There is a word that transcends them, a word that only God can speak: it is the word of the resurrection. By the power of God’s love, it ‘dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord and brings down the mighty [Easter proclamation]’” (Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi Message, 2018).
May the peace, mercy, love and joy of the Risen Lord Jesus bless you and your family this Easter day and always! Enjoy your Easter celebrations today with family and friends and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish