First Down (April 15, 2018)

Dear Friends,

The Church can be so strange in some of the things it does. Christmas Day arrives and then after Christmas we are still singing Christmas songs for three weeks while many of us have been listening to these songs since early November. At Easter, the brunch was delicious, the kids loved the Easter egg hunt and the Easter dresses were beautiful, now, everyone is ready to move on. The Church says let’s talk about Easter for 50 days! Yes, the Church does some strange things. When we take a look at the reasons why we do this we may see some great wisdom.

The scripture readings for Easter season center on the numerous accounts of Jesus appearing after His death. This is met with different reactions. Some do not immediately recognize Him, others think it is a ghost, others need more evidence and others still have more questions. Everyone encounters this mystery of resurrection differently. Over time as things are revealed, more people begin to see for themselves that the resurrection is very real. But for others it takes more time.

Even today, some 2,000 years later, people can have the same type of response. We do not recognize the Resurrection immediately as being real, some need more evidence and others think it is something that was made up. It takes time to wrap our minds and hearts around this mystery of resurrection and eternal life. The question today is how should one approach the truth of Jesus Christ?

I think it is important to approach Jesus with an openness that will take us beyond our own opinions, thoughts and habits. If we approach the teachings of Jesus with a mindset that looks only for things that support what we already believe, then we miss the fullness of what God wants to reveal to us. We simply just fill our own ego and use Jesus to justify whatever we think is right. This does happen for many Christians. The approach needs to be one of openness of what God can reveal to us. Leaving our opinions of who is right or wrong and letting God teach us His ways. It really is an emptying of ourselves and allowing God to fill us with His wisdom. Yet, this is so difficult. It takes patience and time and many times you and I just do not have either to give.

50 days of Easter is meant for a people who need time to process what is true and not true. People of Jesus’ time were all over the place with their initial reaction to the Resurrection. Over time many would change their lives and offer up their lives to serve Jesus and the truth He brought to us. They too needed to let go of the long history of believing who the Messiah was to be and what He was suppose to do. If they would not let that go, they would never come to know Jesus. They serve as an example to all of us, that we too need to let go of certain ideas we already think about Jesus so we can receive the real meaning of resurrection.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric