Faith in Our Community
Part 4 in Series of Holy Season Reflections of Local Voices
|Fr. Nick Melo|
April 5, 2015
By Fr. Nicholas P. Melo
Pastor, St. Thomas Church
There is a sense of hope and joy in the air for Christians everywhere because it is Easter! The very word ‘Easter’ means ‘Springtime’. After an exceedingly long winter, our spirits begin to soar at the first signs of flowers blooming in our gardens, of birds searching for places to build their nests, and the ever-lengthening days. New life is found everywhere we look.
It is precisely this which Christians everywhere celebrate at Easter. But there is a deeper level to our celebration than what meets the eye. We believe in faith that Jesus, who was nailed to a Cross on Good Friday, rose from the tomb on Easter morning, having conquered death. Through his Passion and Death, new Life has become possible for everyone, in every place, of every time!
What we celebrate today is so great that we cannot do it justice in just one day. Easter extends for fifty days! In those fifty days we celebrate an incredible sacred mystery which clearly shows the immense power that love has over everything else.
This is a mystery which reveals to us a God who loves us in ways we can’t even begin to understand, who wants the very best for each of us, who knows what we are going through, and, is willing to do whatever it takes to keep us close to Him and to one another. That’s the one-of-a-kind God we have - a loving God who is intimately connected to, and involved with, our lives and our world. And so we rejoice!
I used the words “one-of-a-kind” in describing God because sometimes - usually when things are going tough, or when we are suffering in some way - we may see God in a much different light. We may begin to wonder if the people are right who say, “God just made the world and everything in it, but then He left it alone,” sitting and watching and not doing anything about fixing what’s broken, or healing what’s wounded, or comforting those in tears.
Many people throughout history have believed that very thing. And sometimes, when life burdens us or breaks our hearts, we may have a tendency to do the same. We may at times pray and pray and pray some more, and begin to wonder, “Is anyone listening?” or “Does anyone care?” or “Is anyone up there?!”
Well, Easter is a time to put those thoughts aside, to put them to rest, and instead, to recognize and trust in and rejoice in a much different image of God - a God unlike any god humankind has ever “imagined”. For God to enter into our world in such an intimate way, He must want to be closer to us than we are to ourselves. For God to suffer as He did He must want to know, in a concrete way, what we feel like when we are hurting. For God to allow Himself to die, He must want us to know that He is willing to go anywhere and do anything for us. And for God to destroy death He must want us to know that love conquers all, and that no matter what happens in this life, we have nothing to fear. Love wins. Life wins. God wins.
And so Easter is a time to truly celebrate. And not just today, but every day, especially when we are stressed beyond belief over day-to-day responsibilities; when we face a serious illness, or lose our job and wonder if we’ll get another one, or get picked on or bullied at school, or find our relationships falling apart, or feel all alone and unloved, or worry about our kids and the friends they’re hanging with, or grieve the loss of a loved one.
Whatever it is we are going through, today reminds us that we are not alone, that someone cares, and that our problems and difficulties need never get the best of us.
The victory has been won!
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