Dear Friends in Christ:
I grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma, in a Roman Catholic family with eight kids. Easter in Tulsa was almost always during a warm spell when spring was well underway (there will be a high of 77 today in Tulsa as I write this note). There are photographs of me as a very young boy in my Easter finest – a jacket with shorts! We also made a lot of Easter eggs and had many egg hunts throughout Easter day. The older kids would hide them for the smaller kids to search for and it kept us busy until Easter dinner was ready. One year, however, it was cold and the egg hunts were done inside. I suspect you can guess what happened; one egg was not found for many, many months and when it was the smell was very unpleasant.
Easter is about Resurrection and new life in Christ Jesus. In the Resurrection, God says “Yes” to Jesus and to his vision of the kingdom of God available here and now on the earth as well as in heaven. In the Resurrection the community of Jesus’ disciples found the strength and the courage to continue to practice love of neighbor and charity toward the poor. They continued to gather as community and share their lives with one another. They opened their communities to both Jews and Gentiles. Women were in leadership roles and the release of slaves was promoted. They continued to challenge the domination of Rome and the corruption they found in the Temple. They reached out in love to outcasts and created a meal ritual where Jesus was remembered and where the community fed on his words and his actions, indeed on his very life.
What kind of Jesus Resurrection do you participate in this year? What kind of community are the Christians who gather with you this Easter day? Do you still bear the mark of Jesus on your forehead? Do you practice Resurrection in your daily life and with both those you know well and with strangers, widows, orphans, the outcasts and the lonely? Do you give of your time, talent and treasure for the spread of the Kingdom of God?
Or, has that Easter egg been lost, waiting with its unpleasant odor for our rediscovery?