The Splendor of Easter


From the Pastor’s Desk

The reflections of Easter on sin and penance differ from those of Lent. The focus during Easter is not on the evils of sin but on redemption from sin. With the resurrection of Christ, the world has been transformed. We are no longer mired down by darkness, by evil. The world is being restored to God’s original plan. He has given us life. He has conquered sin, which is death, so that we may be united in his resurrected life. The truth is that we always need the gift of God’s forgiveness. Recognizing our needs and asking God for the gift of forgiveness is what we call repentance.

Christ the KIng

In the first reading, Peter calls on the people of Jerusalem to repent and turn to God so that their sins may be wiped out. Today’s gospel, from Luke, continues with the recurring post-Easter theme of Eucharist and discipleship. Christ, broken and offered for us, rises triumphantly out of the tomb and remains with us as bread and wine in the bloodless re-presentation of Calvary.

This is the heart of the paschal mystery revealed to us now—but how was it manifested in those anxious and uncertain days after the resurrection? As we see today in the upper room, as in several post-resurrection scriptural passages, it is through fear, food, and the recognition of Jesus in a meal.

The gospel reading begins with the disciples cowering in the upper room, recounting to the others their story about the trip to Emmaus and their recognition of Christ in the person of the strange pilgrim when he broke the bread at the table. No sooner have they finished their astounding tale than Jesus again appears. The disciples, afraid they see a ghost, only believe when he eats before them. Again and again, Christ appears to groups – the women outside the tomb, the couple walking to Emmaus, the believers gathered in the Upper Room. Just as He tells them in this Sunday’s Scripture, “You are witnesses of these things,” He is almost attentively, thoughtfully building the case for His Resurrection. It’s as if He is saying, “Take notes. Write this down. You all can corroborate this. You are my witnesses.” And we realize He is not just speaking to those in the room. He is speaking to all of us across the centuries.

In our way, we witness Christ’s life, death, and resurrection and testify to it daily with our words, actions, and choices. We continue what He began. These appearances remind us that Christianity involves both communion and community. It is lived among others. The message is clear: The Good News we hold in our hearts is not meant to be kept to ourselves. It’s meant to be lived, practiced, and shared with others.

In these weeks after Easter, as the flowers fade and we get accustomed once again to “Alleluias” ringing through the air, it can be easy to take for granted the splendor of this moment. We shouldn’t. Pentecost is coming, fire will fall, and another thunderous event will remind us of the Church’s first days and the astounding tale we must tell. We are Easter people!

Peace and all good, Friar Oscar Mendez, OFM

(En Español)

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