Happy Easter to all of our parishioners, family members, and guests. May the joy of the Risen Lord permeate your life. I pray that you may experience the abiding peace of this Easter Season. Today’s feast is the center of our faith as Catholics and may we recognize and appreciate this centrality.
One of the wonders of Easter is the power and mercy of God to transform death into life. Jesus says unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat, but if it dies it produces much fruit. This transformation from death into abundant life is revealed in Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. On Good Friday, we prayed at the foot of the cross as death and darkness loomed. Death enveloped the Son of God as He died.
In the Easter mystery, Jesus Christ rises from the dead. As he takes death and dying upon Himself, it is transformed into life. The power of God is so abundant that God is able to transform death into life.
If we allow it and if we are humble, this same transformation takes place within us. St. Mary Magdalene is a great example of this. She arrives at the tomb in hopelessness, despair, and bitterness and leaves overjoyed and full of hope. Easter has this same potency in our own life. Jesus is able to transform our bitterness, despair, and selfishness into life, joy, and hope. We, as individuals, have the potential to be transformed by Jesus Christ.
The transformation does not end there. If each and every one of us is open to transformation into Christ, our relationships can be transformed. When friends, families, and coworkers courageously embrace a life of conversion, relations can be changed. Hope can dawn in our midst and strained relationships can be renewed. The Gospel can begin to grow, just like it did for the first apostles, who individually and as a group, allowed the grace of Christ to transform them.
The renewal can expand even further. If we embrace this life of conversion and transformation individually and as groups, it can renew a parish or pastoral region. The chain reaction continues and the kingdom of God grows in our midst. If many of us embrace this life of radical conversion and transformation, our parishes can be renewed and enlivened by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Transformation doesn’t stop at the parish level, it billows out into the world, our communities, our Archdiocese, and our state. This has to be the goal, the renewal of the entire world into the joy of Jesus Christ. It is a lofty goal and high ideal, but it always seems to be the goal of Jesus Christ.
This goal begins very small, it begins with us individually. If we individually commit to the total transformation into Jesus Christ, we will begin towards the renewal of the world. It begins with surrendering our lives to Him and His mercy. Next weekend we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday and I invite everyone to the service at Immaculate Conception at 3:00pm Sunday, April 11th.
Allow His mercy to envelope you and be transformed into Jesus Christ. Our families need this, our parishes need this, and the world needs this. I personally am committing to this renewal of my life and priestly ministry so that the transformative power of Christ may take hold of me.
May you also experience the joy and transformative power of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead!
Sincerely in the love of Jesus,
Fr. Sean Wilson