Easter Morning Greetings to all Food For Faith followers. Thanks to social media I am receiving many Easter greetings and inspirations – thanks to Monty for reminding me of the wonderful Pope Benedict reflection below.
Last night at the Hanmer Springs Easter Vigil I heard myself read from the Gospel: “Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (Mt 28:10).
A couple of years ago I was on the shores of the sea of Galilee at sunrise, and a friend took the photo above. For some of our group the Galilee sunrise was a highlight of our journey and they felt a deep intimacy with the risen Jesus. For me it was a beautiful moment in a beautiful place, but my thoughts were far away in the many other places where I have experienced the presence of Jesus in a much more personal and real way.
I was thinking of my home parishes of Good Shepherd Hurunui and St. Therese of Lisieux Chatham Islands. I remembered moments when in the midst of my struggle and suffering where Jesus came to me in a much more real and tangible way than for me that Galilee morning.
This realization for me was a great joy. While a Holy Land pilgrimage is always a privilege and a joy, the greatest human privilege and joy is found in the God who in Jesus risen comes to us in every human experience, in every moment, and, most wonderfully, in every age and in every part of the globe.
Too often we fall victim to the heresy that leads us to believe that we have to be somewhere else, or someone else, or somehow else if we are to experience God. Thanks be to God for the resurrection of Jesus which places Jesus alive and risen in everyday joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties of every human heart. All we need to do is to be in our own Galilee, our own personal place of awaiting renewed encounter with our risen Lord.
“Now it must be acknowledged that if in Jesus’ Resurrection we were dealing simply with the miracle of a resuscitated corpse, it would ultimately be of no concern to us. For it would be no more important than the resuscitation of a clinically dead person through the art of doctors. For the world as such and for our human existence, nothing would have changed. The miracle of a resuscitated corpse would indicate that Jesus’ Resurrection was equivalent to the raising of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:22-24, 35-43 and parallel passages), and Lazarus (John 11:1-44). After a more or less short period, these individuals returned to their former lives, and then at a later point they died definitively. The New Testament testimonies leave us in no doubt that what happened in the “Resurrection of the Son of Man” was utterly different. Jesus’ Resurrection was about breaking out into an entirely new form of life, into a life that is no longer subject to the law of dying and becoming, but lies beyond it – a life that opens up a new dimension of human existence. Therefore the Resurrection of Jesus is not an isolated event that we could set aside as something limited to the past, but it constitutes an “evolutionary leap” (to draw an analogy, albeit one that is easily misunderstood). In Jesus’ Resurrection a new possibility of human existence is attained that affects everyone and that opens up a new future, a new kind of future, for mankind”.
~ [Emeritus] Pope Benedict,
Jesus of Nazareth, Vol III, pp. 243-244
Thank you, Fr John, for this beautiful image. It seems that every dawn over Lake Galilee is about Easter Sunday. Time disappears, sun rise becomes Son rise and the light of Jesus’ presence dances on the water. In the next month I travel in other places but will take this reflection with me as part of morning prayer, a reminder of how the world’s greatest Lover turns all our little crucifixions into resurrections without end.