April 23, 2014
By Father William Muench
Happy Easter to you all! Let us rejoice for our crucified Savior rose to new life! You are all remembered in my Easter Masses during this sacred time.
Easter is about new life. The resurrection of Our Lord Jesus is about new life. Jesus truly died – crucified on a cross – resurrected to new life. Death leads to resurrection. This is the pattern of our spiritual life as Catholics.
As followers of Jesus, we realize that our life is filled with innumerable deaths. Yet, with Jesus, there will always be resurrection, our resurrection, when we place our faith in Our Savior. Death – too many times we may have turned away from our God – too many sins have isolated us from our God – too many times we may have lost confidence, lost faith in our God. There have been the deaths of loss, loss of loved ones, loss of opportunities, so many losses. Yet, each death will lead to resurrection, new life from the Lord, our God.
Resurrection, our own resurrection, is an important part of our lives as Catholics. Each day of our life should be filled with the joy and life of resurrection in our own religious life. Each Sunday – indeed, each time – that we join together to celebrate the Blessed Eucharist, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We celebrate our own hope of resurrection, that personal resurrection that brings new life into our everyday life, today.
This New Life from Our God gives us the strength and confidence to meet the challenges of each day, the power to make our world a better place. God leads us and guides us to where we are needed. to where we will make a difference.
Recently, my friend, Father Riani, sent me a copy of a prayer from the writings of Father Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit priest and scientist.
Teilhard picked up on a passage from Isaiah’s Servant Song. Isaiah writes, “The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb, he gave me my name. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me.”
In his prayer, Teilhard describes our spiritual journey with the Lord as being an arrow in the hands of the Great Archer, our God. Each day, this Great Archer sends us out, fires us to some place. We do not know where it will but we can trust our God; the Great Archer knows where we are needed, where we should be, where we can bring God’s love and peace and make the world happier, truly a better place.
This Easter, our Bishop, Bishop LaValley, has given a call to us all in this diocese to bring new life into our Church with God’s help.
Easter is a perfect time to begin this new five year program. Each of the priorities this program proposes will be opportunities for us all to bring new spirit and new enthusiasm to the life of the Diocese of Ogdensburg. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection during the weeks of Easter time, we pray for this new life of our Savior for our diocese.
Our prayer must be that in the Spirit of our Easter celebration we, the people of the North Country, will find new Spirit of involvement through this program.
As Church, so much depends on the involvement of us all. This will be a real call especially to you, the laity of this diocese. Pope Francis speaks often of the importance of your enthusiastic involvement in the life of our Church. Pope Francis has such a wonderful way of speaking about this involvement – he knows the right words.
At the World Youth Day he challenged the young people – actually, a challenge to us all – in this way, “I want things messy and stirred up in our congregations. I want you to take to the streets. I want the Church to take to the streets.”
So, you are needed. All of you have wonderful gifts that will make a difference in your Church, in your parish – and the reason is simple: the Lord Jesus died and rose again for you. Each one of us share in the life of that resurrection so that we can live fully as we join Jesus in bringing the joy of the resurrection to our part of the world.