Easter 2013

"Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; they will see me there." Mt 28:10 "Go… proclaim the good news." Mk 16:16

Go, leave, walk etc. – these are verbs that speak to us of a road, a path, verbs that indicate something of the attitude and life of Jesus, the history of his people, the history of the Church. 
 
To be on a journey is characteristic of humanity. We are also on a journey during this period of Lent that is leading us to Easter. We are journeying at a time that is marked by important events: the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of our new Pope, Francis, the invitation to celebrate the "Year of Faith" in all continents and the preparation of the extraordinary Chapter. 
 
It is a real journey of faith in quest of the Risen Jesus, in communion with the universal Church. 
 
It is not a journey that is routine, dull or empty. On the contrary, it is the journey of a disciple that calls us to have a listening heart so as to hear a constant call, that of: 
"…the love of Christ that fills our hearts and impels us to evangelize. Today as in the past, he sends us through the highways of the world to proclaim his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth. Through his love, Jesus Christ attracts to himself the people of every generation: in every age he convokes the Church, entrusting her with the proclamation of the Gospel by a mandate that is ever new. Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for com-municating the faith […] Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy […] Believers, so Saint Augustine tells us, "strengthen themselves by believing." […] Only through believing, then, does faith grow and become stronger; there is no other possibility for possessing certitude with regard to one’s life apart from self-abandonment, in a continuous crescendo, into the hands of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in God." (Apostolic letter "Porta fidei" [The Door of Faith] no. 7, by Benedict XVI) 
 
Isn’t this the experience that Mary Magdalen, Mary and Salome had when they set out towards the tomb to find a dead man so as to offer gestures of tenderness and respect? And their uncertainty and anxiety along the way: who would roll back the stone? 
 
Can we too name the stones that we have to roll back so as to leave room for life? 
  • What stone am I going to displace so as to be a woman of dialogue, of forgiveness and of encounter in my community? 
  • What stone am I going to move so as to make my faith a faith that is expressed in acts of justice and charity, a faith that overcomes timidity so as to express itself? 
  • What stone am I going to move so as to broaden the space of my tent and let myself be surprised ? 
However, it happened that on their arrival at the tomb the women saw that the stone had been rolled away! A powerful sign that introduces us into the sym-bolism of the door that is opened so as to give space for newness, to Life. The power of the Spirit who sustains our own faith. 
  • It is faith that helps us to change our mentality, to retain hope in a world that is plunged in suffering and violence. 
  • It is the faith we place in the abilities of the persons around us that makes us discover the source that does not run dry. 
  • It is faith that makes us believe in the Church with its richness, its wounds and its betrayals. This "Church (that) changes like all living beings and whose heart is Christ." (P. Guardini) and which continues its mission. It is through faith that men and women responded to the call of Christ and gave the testimony of their identity as Christians in their family, their profession, in public life, in their neighbourhood etc. 
We too, with Christ, we are invited to leave our former paths and to become a "new creature" (St Paul). We are invited to set out on that path of a disciple which makes us choose life, resolutely. 
Let us not grow tired of living a companionship with Christ so as to be, like the women on the morning of Easter and like the disciples discovering through his pierced hands all his humanity and all his glory – disciples who, in our weaknesses, are confident and assured in the strength of the living God. Then we will be filled with the Joy of Easter because "true love of God dilates the heart and makes it tend towards great things." 
Etienne Pernet
 
Christ us truly Risen, we are going to proclaim it!
A very happy Easter!
 
 
The General Concellers
29/03/2013
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