When we give Love a chance, we receive new life now … when we hold onto angry and hate, we destroy our joy
HAPPY EASTER! After 59 years of celebrating Easter – maybe with a few brains for 40 of them – I asked myself: what are we really celebrating today? That we’ve been saved by Jesus Christ? Is it just a moment to say thanks?
I presume it was the Holy Spirit who put the following thought in my head: The Resurrection teaches us a lesson that we need to be reminded of over and over again…
probably because we are slow learners, and we are frequently wounded.
Jesus responded to the hatred and injustice by loving those who had “damaged” Him. The reward for giving back Love is, quite literally, new LIFE.
And not just life in the hereafter, but the death and resurrection of Christ teaches us that we, here and now, can have a renewed sense of life if we can also forgive those who “damage” us. Is there somewhere in our lives where we need to forgive?
On 8 Nov, 1987, a community in Nth. Ireland held its annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony to honour those who had served in the British Armed Forces. The Provisional IRA exploded a bomb just before the ceremony was due to start; killing 11 and injuring 64 people. The blast buried Senator Wilson and his daughter, Marie, in broken rocks. Unable to move, he held her hand and comforted her as she lay dying, her last words were, “Daddy, I love you very much.” Five minutes later rescuers pulled Wilson and his daughter out from under the collapsed building, but Marie died later in hospital. A huge change in attitude by people towards this sort of attack was Mr Wilson’s reaction to the death of his daughter: the 60-year-old draper publicly forgave those who planted the bomb and promised to pray for them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Wilson_(peace_campaigner) By Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archives, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.
The amazing thing is that Mr Wilson was heavily criticised by people calling into Radio talkback shows at that time. It was very sad and painful for Mr Wilson, his wife and their children. However, after the forgiveness was offered, they were able to rebuild their lives.
In Kenya itself, we also know a reconciliation was made between Britain and the people of Kenya, especially the Mau Mau freedom fighters and their families.
The new relationship with Britain is helping Kenya to continue growing stronger.
If we hang onto the images of God as Father and Jesus Christ as the beloved Son, Then we can also say the same: God forgave us and the living God is shown to us anew. The Body of Jesus Christ is “renewed” and revealed to the Disciples.
Because of that “renewed” life of Christ, every human being then, and since, has new hope and faith in God’s love and to know that, always, tomorrow is a new day. Whether it’s a good day or a bad day, depends on our ability to forgive and let go.
Fr Rolheiser says (6-04-2015): Ultimately that’s what the resurrection asks us to do: To go back to Galilee, to return to the dream, hope, and discipleship that had once inflamed us but has now been lost through disillusionment.
What is our dream? What is Galilee for us? Galilee is not a place on the map, but our life where we felt loved, and had opportunity to be the best that we can be. When we are doing the best we can, we are giving glory to God: our way of loving God.
In many parts of the world, people have forgotten about the meaning of Easter. For example, I received this advertisement from Australia:
Forget the chocolate bunny. This Easter it’s all about Apple! Win an ultimate iPad Pro Prize Pack every week in March. Simply purchase your travel insurance now before Easter and instantly go in the draw to win an iPad Pro plus iPad Pro Pencil and case.
iPads come and go. What comes and stays is LOVE – that is our Galilee – if we give Love a chance. We give Love a chance when we forgive, learn, RESTART and move on.
HAPPY EASTER! Let’s try to FEEL the joy of Easter and not just go through the motions. It’s not too late to change our way of thinking and acting. Let’s give Love a chance!
By Gerard Conlan, OMI