Apr 29, 2019
Jesus has risen and is alive today, not as a character from the past found in history books but in day-to-day life, Pope Francis said Saturday as he celebrated the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
“To return to a lively love of the Lord is essential,” Francis said. “Otherwise, ours is a ‘museum’ faith, not an Easter faith. Jesus is not a personage from the past; he is a person living today. We do not know him from history books; we encounter him in life.”
The “Living One,” the pontiff reflected, must be “at the center of our lives,” and to accomplish this, Christians must ask for the grace not to be “carried by the current, the sea of our problems; the grace not to run aground on the shoals of sin or crash on the reefs of discouragement and fear.” (Crux April 20, 2019)
Too often in the academic life of the Church we get caught up in the knowledge base. In this place we can put Jesus into a museum where we study what he did and said, but we do not look for him in the present day. We are a sacramental Church in which Jesus encounters us personally through the Eucharist, through the person of the priest and through the reception of the other sacraments. As we receive Jesus into our bodies we become Christ carriers and this is not as if we are a truck with a precious cargo, instead we who consume Christ become his very presence in the midst of our brothers and sisters. He is living within and throughout our community of faith.
This weekend we congratulate our second graders as they receive the wonderful Body and Blood of Jesus for the first time in their lives. The Church hopes that they will receive this gift often and regularly so that they can be transformed into the very presence of Christ in the midst of our assembly. We also congratulate our tenth graders who on Tuesday night traveled down to the Archbishop’s church (the cathedral) to be confirmed. May they allow that experience to transform them and deepen their faith.
Springtime is the time of new birth; there is a freshness and promise of growth to come. I congratulate all who were initiated in our church on Holy Saturday night as well as all those throughout the world who have been born again through the initiation sacraments.