Easter 2011 – 2

April 21, 2011 at 15:51 1 comment

In our celebration of  Easter we refer to Jesus as Light. We ask the Light to come into our lives and show us how to see as Jesus sees. He invites us to share this Light with others, not to force it on them with threats and penalties. This Light also helps us see our own faults and weaknesses, and leads us to be more tolerant of others, perhaps even to see the goodness and wisdom in all who disagree with us

The work of the Spirit is to bring people together, which always involves mutual respect and acceptance on all sides. We move ahead through respectful dialogue and exchange, not through threats, name calling, or penalties. If we believe we are doing Jesus’ work, we have to imitate him in how he worked. He accepted all who came into his life, if necessary naming their sin, but never turning anyone away.  He did not tell us to draw a line and say that everyone who agrees with us stay on this side and be saved, and all who do not agree stay on the other side and not be saved. Many of his parables were about welcoming back any who had strayed, not condemning them or chasing them away. Many chose not come back because Jesus was not who they thought he should be. They had all the right answers and the correct ways to behave, and he didn’t.

If we feel the Holy Spirit is calling us to some form of action in the turmoil and confusion of these days, we have to respond, and base our response totally on prayer. This is not the prayer of inviting God to our way of thinking or asking God to do our bidding, but a prayer of openness to Jesus however he is calling us, and a prayer for the courage to go wherever this takes us. Our prayer might be something like prayer of the women on the way to the tomb as they pondered what they were to do about the large stone at the door of the tomb, or perhaps the prayer of Mary in the garden as she asked to be shown where Jesus was. Our prayer has to ask Jesus where he is in all this mess without telling him where we think he should be or the only place where we would be willing to recognize. If we respond without prayer, focusing instead on whatever issue we like or don’t like, we are no longer open to Jesus, but instead are telling Jesus to be open to us and do what we want. There is no true joy of the Risen Jesus in this.

In the Story the stone was already rolled away from the tomb by the time the women got there. It is not unreasonable to recognize the stone is rolled away in our life as we do our best to draw near Jesus as he is calling us. Our stone could be anything, but the most likely culprits are our own ideas about how we, Jesus, others, etc, should be. On our prayer journey it is not unusual to realize it has already been rolled away, and al we have to do is consent to it. Many of us cannot consent because what we see is not the way we think thongs should be, so we roll the stone back and choose to keep ourselves from recognizing Jesus. If feel have a profound sense that a wrong has to be righted and we have to do something to right it. We cannot run away. The difficult part is determining what all this means on our journey with Jesus, and he has to remain our focus. While we have to judge situations and practices, we cannot judge others or impute motives to them. At times we may not be all that sure of our own.

As happens with some of the folks later in the Easter Story, we can get so fixated on our own interpretation of something, whether it be our own comfort and security, ideas, notions, methods of doing something, etc, that we do not recognize Jesus. He has to do something to get our attention – come through locked door, reach out to us on our way, if we are even open to it, cook a meal for us. Often we confuse the means with the end. All our traditions, dogmas, liturgies, have as their purpose leading us to know Jesus as he was us to know him. It is easy to get so focused on what we think we have to do or believe that we are not open to him in any other way.

It seems that each of us has to find the Risen Jesus for ourselves. If we simply accept what we hear from others, we run the risk of simply conforming without any personal commitment. While there are many commonalities throughout the ages for journeying with Jesus, there are some aspects unique to each of us simply because each of us is unique with our own unique story. We need the ongoing revelation of Jesus in us as we prayerfully move along with him on our journey and come to know that, in a sense, all life is God revealing Godself, and we have a necessary role to play. There is a great sense of joy and adventure in this as we come to know in our own unique way, that grace really is real, and Christ really is Risen, this makes a real difference.


Entry filed under: Catholic, Gospel thoughts, Priest, Uncategorized.

Easter Thoughts 2011 Gospel Thoughts 8 May 2011, Emmaus

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cherish Kulka  |  April 22, 2011 at 06:32

    It is true when we accept we are so open. God continues to give us so many oppourties to accept ourselves so that we can accept others an thus accepting God’s Grace. It is so hard for us to be accepting until we let go and let God in. Image is so important to our society that has allowed many to make God be what they want. Perhaps if we spent more time in prayer like the muslims we would be more accepting……and have more peace


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