The Message of Easter

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The Resurrection of Christ - by RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel - from O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


"The Best Christian I know is our Bishop because he says, 'Hello', and other helpful things." This was the reply of one young lad asked to write about "The best Christian I know" for a competition in a Christian magazine.

Needless to say the boy's essay caused a few smiles in the editorial office. We somehow expect Bishops to stun us with more profound remarks than "Hello". When we see them at Confirmations or other special occasions, they can seem very remote from our daily lives. Yet that young lad's comments on the value of what he had heard his Bishop say is absolutely on target.

When Jesus rose from the dead on the first Easter Sunday, He was freed from the limitations of human nature which He had accepted during His lifetime. He could have revealed Himself in magnificent glory. All those who had doubted would have been forced to believe. Those who had been His enemies would have had to concede His victory.


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Instead He chose simply to do ordinary things with ordinary people. Caryll Houselander describes His resurrection beautifully: "The news that He was raised from the tomb was entrusted to people who still had tears on their faces. They were to tell it, and the first messenger, known to be an emotional woman who would hardly be credited, was sent to convince the first Pope that Christ had risen."


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The risen Christ reinforced what He had taught and shown His disciples during His lifetime. Caryll Houselander puts it this way, He walked and talked and ate with men, built a little fire and cooked for them, confronted them and renewed their faith by approaching each one individually. He used the same means as before, words, kindness, going on a journey, setting His pace to the pace of the others. He showed them His love in all the ways they could understand. He showed them ways they could imitate. This was how He knew they would be able to learn about His love and pass on His Good News. Even in His risen glory He still showed His care, recognizing every individual. He was patient with them in their difficulties and offered each one His friendship and support through life.


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He is present with us today in exactly the same way. That is the glory of Easter Day, the revelation of eternal love which is shown by Christ in His death and resurrection. The risen Lord says "Hello", and other helpful things to us today and every day, just as He did to His disciples after His Resurrection.


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