By Most Rev. Gerald R. Barnes
Today we receive God’s greatest gift to us – new life in the Resurrection of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We feel the warmth of God’s love and the hope that He seeks to kindle in us perhaps stronger than on any other day of the year. I join you in this joyful exaltation. Alleluia! He is risen!
I also pose this question. What do we now do with the Good News that we have received?
Hopefully, our journey through Lent has allowed us to examine truths about our life and faith that have drawn us closer to God. Our faith is stronger “being more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire...” (1 Peter 1:7).
The purification that we experience during Lent is not an end unto itself, however. As our diocesan vision states, “we are a community of believers… called to impact family, neighborhood and society…” This speaks to the importance of mission. The hope that we have received in the Resurrection is meant to be shared with all, for the good of all, through strong Christian witness in all of the circles we travel.
In his parable of the Ten Gold Coins (Lk. 19: 11-27), the Lord teaches us that those who take God’s gift of faith and multiply it find favor with Him, while those who burry it in fear do not. We can apply this to our sharing of the Good News this Easter season. It’s no accident that the Gospel is referred to as the Good News. News is information to be shared! Of course, this is a different kind of news than what we read in the paper or on-line or watch on television. It is our own story about how encountering Jesus has transformed us, and how that conversion is there for everyone to experience.
What does this calling mean to us in our everyday lives? Perhaps it means asking God through prayer and reflection how we can use the gifts and talents He has given us to bring the Good News to others. Perhaps it means recognizing that in our daily interactions with our brothers and sisters in Christ, in how we act and in what we say; we have the opportunity to share the Good News. Perhaps it means, for some of us, a realization that God is calling us to serve His Holy Church in religious life. Perhaps it is something as simple as resolving to worship and pray more faithfully with our parish community.
The Easter Season is a time of mystagogia, a deeper examination of the mysteries of our faith. We are called in a special way to accompany those who have received the sacraments of baptism, first Eucharist and confirmation at the Easter Vigil. They certainly must feel that their faith journey is just beginning. In the light of the Resurrection, you might say that is true for all of us.
I offer you my prayers for a joyous Easter Season. May God bless you.
PUBLISHED IN THE APRIL 2012 INLAND CATHOLIC BYTE