Easter Sunday is the great feast of the Christian faith. Without the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, Christianity would be reduced to some nice humanistic feeling and nothing more – a nice set of rules to live in peace with one another. But with the Resurrection, we are given the assurance that life means more. It is a sharing in the life of the Creator and a prelude to what is to come.
The signs of new life are all around us, if only we have the eyes to see them. Easter comes at a time when the flowers are bursting from the ground after a winter of lifelessness. The new-born baby emerges from the darkness of the womb to provide the message that life continues. The person, who has suffered from addiction, recovers and comes back to live anew.
These are all human signs of resurrection and of hope. They foreshadow for us what awaits us at the moment death when all appears to be lost. Life provides these omens and Jesus’ Resurrection is the final sign that we are reading the signs correctly.
Jesus’ rising from the dead absolutely was a bodily resurrection, as Bishop DiMarzio has said in past Easter messages. It was nothing less. It was not a symbolic rising. It was an actual physical happening. He then showed Himself to His followers to explain some of the teachings that He had brought to them.
We cannot just settle back and be reassured in our beliefs. We are kind and patient to our neighbor. We bring peace to moments of conflict. We shelter the homeless and feed the hungry because we constantly strive to live a new life in anticipation of the gift of eternal life.
Our faith is real and calls for a response. We cannot be apathetic in our self-assurance that we can see the truth and the way to salvation. We must live it and encourage others to join us along the way.
This is the meaning of Easter. We cannot allow death and destruction to have the last word because we know there is a better way. We have seen Jesus break the shackles of death and we are determined to do the same whenever we meet the forces of darkness and evil in our own lives.
The resurrection gives us the strength to do better, to constantly strive to achieve good, to shed the light of goodness upon whatever appears to life-threatening. We continue to live and support the beauty of life because Jesus has conquered the desolation of death and has shown Himself to us, His disciples.
Our Easter song is one of Alleluia. Rejoice and be glad because Jesus is truly risen.