Happy Easter! With the Church, we celebrate the Easter Season for 50 days, until
Pentecost Sunday ( June 9th this year), when we remember the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Upper Room (Acts 2). God
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has called not only the Apostles and Jesus’ Mother,
but each of us to be His disciples, to be “Resurrection-disciples,” disciples of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead! What does this mean, to be Resurrection-disciples? Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Seek That Which is Above) and Pope Francis (The Joy of the Gospel) give us some guidance:
The first messages of the Risen Lord, communicated by means of the angels and
the women were: Peace; Come, follow me; I am going before you! Resurrection-disciples step forward in faith, hope and love to follow Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life ( John 14:6). Saint John and Saint Luke state very clearly where and how Christ has gone and where we are to follow Him: to Heaven ( John 20; Acts 1-2). Jesus tells Mary Magdalen that she has to wait until He has ascended before she can hold on to Him – and now, today, we can hold on to and follow Jesus in His Church, Word, Sacraments and prayer. That is why Christian tradition deliberately speaks of following Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. We follow not a dead man, but the living Christ, without compromises, in holy boldness. Resurrection-disciples go where Peter and others initially could not go ( John 13), for Jesus has now ascended into Heaven and has given His Holy Spirit to His Church, Saint Peter and each of us who have been baptized, and has further strengthened us in the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Resurrection-disciples embrace the Cross and the Resurrection and Christ’s divine
Sonship, accepting the entire path of Jesus Christ, going forward into those things that are above, the Divine things that are real: truth, faith, hope, love, and our being children of God. Christian discipleship is a stepping-forward in genuine selflessness in order to find what it is to be a human being, a child of God. It also means discovering the joy of the Lord that the world so urgently needs. In fact, we have a right and a duty to rejoice because the Lord has given us His joy and He knows that the world is waiting for it. As disciples of Christ, we have a duty to manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit
– joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
(Galatians 5:22-23) – in our words and deeds as we strive by God’s grace to live the
virtues of faith, hope and love.
By God’s grace, may we faithfully and joyfully follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ,
giving witness to Him in Truth, in faith, hope and love, as children of God, asking
for His mercy, being merciful and completely trusting in Jesus Christ, crucified and
resurrected, the Only Savior of the world, and helping everyone we encounter to follow Him. Amen! Alleluia!
With peace and prayers in Christ,