Easter – From Ashes to Glory

The Light of the World has just been diminished and dwindled to nothing. The final remnant of the Good Friday setting sun disappears over the horizon. Everything is forgotten as the midnight comes trailing, only the long night ahead filled with fear, shattered dreams, aspirations and nightmare. Which shall it be today? Glory to God, when man’s way leads to a hopeless end, God’s way leads to an endless hope.

The Love of the Father, silently present behind the Cross at Calvary now transcends and penetrates the night with two streams, of light and life, both imbued and enveloped with the strength and might of His power, permeating into the broken, mangled Body of His Son and awakening Him into Life. The Father embraces the Son, ready to crown his incredible fidelity with his own powerful effulgence and life. The Father’s faithful and merciful love has accomplished this great Easter miracle. Jesus has been raised to the Glory and Praise of the Heavenly Father.

A new dawn has arrived with a musical awe. Alleluia is our Easter Song, a melody that the ears fail to comprehend, the heart perceives with faith. A new day has arrived, new possibilities, a new page yet to be written. Life is beautiful and the Easter story heralds that every story has a beautiful ending and no one understood this better than the apostles.

What does resurrection mean to us today? The resurrection reminds us to move from death to life. What is the meaning of the word “death” in our life or in which areas are we dead? It simply means moving from callousness to sensitivity, from negativity to positivity, from despair to hope, from hostility to love, from pettiness to purpose, from envy to contentment, from carelessness to discipline, from fear to faith cause unless we change, we will be confined forever in yesterday’s ways. Easter challenges us to come out of our chaos and go beyond our fears that close us in.

The Resurrection story is not the end but the beginning. Christ has not gone but He is back. He is with us till the end of the age (Mt 28:20). We are invited to live in the Resurrection because the Messiah suffered these things so that not just he, but we too, might enter into His glory (Lk 24:26).

How can we share the power of resurrection of Christ? We are called to share Jesus’ vision of Table fellowship, the essence of the Kingdom of God. In a world tarnished and divided by class, race, religion, gender, and national competitiveness, a simple shared table becomes the icon of hope. Hope is the handmade of the Resurrection, the wellspring of our humanity. Hope is not passive or static but is dynamic, a quality of living, which is ceaselessly moving in the patterns of human life. If our Catholic values mean anything at this point in a new millennium, it means being dedicated to change and mediate change, to read the signs of the times, to do something about transforming our society. If Catholic culture means anything, it means knowing what value to set upon human life. An attitude of generosity towards others is the only source of human happiness and maturity. We all have within us that potential of creating a new society. A new generation begins from us. We are a profound sense of history.

This brings to my mind the 18-inch rule, which my catechist taught me many years ago. Eighteen inches is the distance between the head and the heart in most people. Recall, Mary pondered all these things in her heart (Lk 2:19, 51) and not in her head. Our attitudes towards others map our attitude towards God. It takes courage to hang up the cost, to stand up and be counted. We are all called to make this 18-inch difference in our lives. Creating change happens when people see for themselves that a different way of life is more fulfilling than their present one. It means to have a new heart, a new mind and a new vision. The resurrection drives our life with a purpose, which creates a positive milieu full of possibilities to be explored, to be on earth, fully alive, the Heart of God. The fact is “We don’t” and not “We can’t”.

The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of self to others. Mother Teresa, Graham Stains, Martin Luther King Jr, Billy Graham and many others have shown us this way. It is truly Easter when we die to ourselves and rise again. This Easter, let us gift ourselves to others as Easter eggs that symbolize our transformation from within. In anything and everything, give that extra and thus live an extraordinary abundant life. Live like the Goose that laid golden eggs.

Happy Easter!

Kindly keep me in your prayers.

In Christ,

Steven Pais