Easter People 3-31-2024

I came across an article about a parish in Lafayette section of
Jersey City. They were involved in an unusual Good Friday procession.
The parish wanted to connect the sufferings of Christ to the sufferings of
their neighborhood. Several of the 14 stations in the outdoor procession
were at the homes in the neighborhood where muggings, fires, murders,
had taken place over the last year.
The station where Simon helps Jesus carry his cross took place
at the home of a teenage boy who risked his life to help a man
who been mugged and left for dead.
The 12th station marking the death of Jesus, was held in the
front of the house of Francis McMahon, an 84 year old woman
who was murdered in her own home 3 weeks before Good
I thought to myself what a creative and powerful way to link
together the suffering, pain and death of Jesus with the suffering, pain
and death of the world you and I live in today.
I also thought to myself about a follow up article, about real living
Flesh and Blood experiences of Easter Resurrection today! What would
I write about? What would you write about?
I would write about the very old women I visit occasionally
who is not able to do much except sit and rock: who was given
up for dead at least 3 times by the doctors and family: yet every
time I go there to bring her Communion, this woman’s faith in a
living God, her spirit and joy in the face of pain and loneliness
inspired me. I leave having received more than I gave her.
I would write about the 18 year old young man who died of
Aids recently. He developed Aids because of a blood
transfusion. He was dealt a very unfair and unjust hand in life.
He could have chosen to be bitter and angry and feel sorry for
himself, but instead he taught me and others some powerful
lessons about compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.
I would write about many of you, yes you! You who have had
to face tragedies, sickness, deaths, divorces, loss of jobs, family
problems, crisis of your children, becoming parents of your
parents; various addictions, the list goes on and on.
In the face of all these dark realities, I see and I hear you complain,
you struggle, you get frustrated, you get angry, normal things human
beings do. Yet I see you also continue to try to live your lives like there
is some good news of hope and joy. You remind me and others that
Jesus Christ is not a memory from the past generations. Jesus Christ is a
living presence and surely as he walked with those first disciples on the
trails of Palestine, He goes with us on the modern streets and freeways
of our life.
Easter People. That’s what I would entitle my article. To be Easter
People, the challenge, not just today, but every day. People whose lives,
not just their mouths (in church) radiate (not perfectly but as best we
can) the living presence, the hope, the joy, the peace of Jesus, risen and
alive right here right now. Let us recommit ourselves to being Easter
People. Renew Baptism Vow


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