By Bishop Michael Pfeifer
For Christians, Resurrection is not simply one among many articles of faith; it is the heart of the matter, the beginning of the Christian experience, the cornerstone of the Christian creed, the central premise of Christian liturgical cult. We believe it on the witness of others as people do all things that they believe. But for those chosen in God’s providence to be the witnesses who we believe, the resurrection of Christ was an objective experience. They not only believed, they saw the risen Lord.
The prayers and scriptural readings for Easter Sunday and the Easter season proclaim the joyful message, “Christ has risen! Christ has risen!” Whether this proclamation is spoken in amazement or written with pen or tapped out on a computer, the reality remains precisely the same. Our lives as baptized people who share in not only the death but the resurrection of Christ must validate this proclamation. The life of Christ who is risen has been given to us. We must receive it totally and live it daily.
Easter, indeed, gives a totally new perspective on life. Easter forces us to admit that there is a great deal of life that goes on, often unseen and silent, that we cannot fully understand, at least with our rational minds. Easter is a mystery that keeps on beckoning us to explore something that is grander and greater, better and more beautiful than we can ever imagine.
The unseen force of the Resurrection of Christ is at work all the time, whether or not we recognize it, offering hope in the presence of despair. The Resurrection of Christ is the triumph of love over fear, peace over conflict, joy over sadness and life over death.
Easter is about overcoming and rising above darkness, oppression and despair. Easter signals a new beginning and a new chance, a new opportunity to begin again no matter what has happened in our lives. The risen Christ is there, walking with us, always encouraging us to accept new life, which enriches our earthly journey and leads us to the fullness of life.
Because of our baptism and our sharing in the other Sacraments of the Church, the risen Christ is fully alive in us and gives us a new perspective on life, and invites us to leave behind our apathy, listlessness and complaining. The risen Christ is there each day to give us the stamina to keep on going when we can’t see the way. The risen Christ fills us with the confidence to withstand all of life’s dyings and the courage to keep on believing in the reality of rebirth, recreation, restoration and renewal.
I wish all of you a blessed and joyful Easter and Easter season with our risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Remember, our God has an immense love for each one of you, and our risen Savior, Jesus Christ gave his life and rose from the dead for each one. Happy Easter!