Easter: A Season of New Life

Br. Michael Perras, ofm

St. Francis of Assisi in his “Praises of God” prayed, “You are our hope, You are our faith, You are our charity, You are all our sweetness, You are our eternal life.” These beautiful lines of prayer speak to the depths of this Easter Season. St. Francis trusted in new life and knew God was the source of this new life. It is why as his life was ending, he was able to prayer, “Praise to you my God for Sister Death.” He trusted in the promise of the Resurrection. He was able to surrender into “My God and My All” who was his hope, faith, charity, sweetness and eternal life. This is the anchor of Easter, our Savior Jesus died entrusting his all into God and God raised him from the dead so we may know the fullness of eternal life. St. Francis trusted in this promise. Do we? As we face the challenges of life, the setbacks, the little deaths, the brokenness and the letting go, do we trust our Risen Lord is with us as our hope, faith, love and life?

Mary Magdalene had to, so did Thomas, John, Peter and the Emmaus disciples. In the Easter weeks ahead, we will hear of the early church community which formed after the Resurrection. They too needed to trust the Risen Lord was present with them in the stories they shared and in the blessing and breaking of bread. The first believers are encouragement for us today. The chaos of their world is still the chaos we see in our world; we must be attentive to the Risen Lord in our midst in the simplest of ways.

As the Easter weeks unfold, we hear Jesus described as the Good Shepherd, and the True Vine. Images we can appreciate during this springtime. Images which remind us to pay attention to how the Risen Jesus is woven into the ordinary of our lives. The Risen Lord guides us as his flock. He desires nothing more than for us be a community gathered around the gift of his Risen Life. We are also to grow and produce fruit which shows the world we believe what we profess in our baptismal promises which we have just renewed.

Later in the Easter Season we will be reminded of how Jesus showed us God’s love and how he has asked us to show this love for one another. Christ chose us and if he chose us then the way we show who he is and his love in our lives matters. How in this Easter Season can we be concrete expressions of his love? How can we offer the hope of Easter to someone? In what ways can we encourage new life in our relationships and community?

Weeks from now at the end of the Easter Season, we will hear the beautiful promise of Jesus being with us until the end of the ages and the gift of his Spirit to us. The gift of his Spirit activates in us praise and entrusts us as heralds of his hope, faith, charity, sweetness and new life. Let us be these heralds this Easter Season!

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Easter Peace!

Photo credit: Suzanne D. Williams

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