We continue our celebration of Easter with great joy!
Today in the Readings, we again are called by the Word of God to live into our Baptism and all that implies for discipleship. If we think back to Lent and Holy Week, Easter changes everything. Easter changes us and our lives in Christ.
The last weeks’ Gospels challenges us to live into the profound difference by our salvation in Christ Jesus. When Jesus appeared to the disciples he called them to a new mission and thus to be changed in how they will now live life. With strong clarity, Jesus tells the disciples to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel. Jesus does not provide options, nor does he diminish the challenge-Jesus clearly instructs the disciples to GO and to PROCLAIM!
We hear in the Gospel from John that Jesus, upon his return from the dead, appears and stood in their midst-“Peace be with you” we are told is how Jesus greets them and then directs, “as the Father has sent me, I now send you”. Jesus again extends his peace and calls forth the Holy Spirit to empower and grace the disciples as they begin a new life in Christ of ministry.
Repeatedly in the past days, we hear Jesus assure the Disciples of peace and the words that they should not be afraid.
I sense Jesus was not denying that this new life of discipleship would not have moments of fear, but rather he did this to remind us that God is with us …always. God is faithful and the Holy Spirit will grace us with all we need to live as followers of Christ. The gifts we will soon celebrate with our Confirmation candidates: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Right Judgement, Courage, Reverence, Wonder and Awe of God’s Presence are the gifts for our continued life long journey as disciples in the world today.
In our parishes we too begin a new life of community as we initiate our 32 children in First Eucharist and 60 youth complete their Sacraments of Initiation with Confirmation. It is a most exciting time as we have spent a year of Sacramental preparation with these 92 children and youth, 188 parents of those preparing and 60 Confirmation Sponsors as well as our parish communities. The year has been filled with many opportunities for us to grow in faith and consider how we will respond to the directions of Jesus today. There is an excitement and joy of God’s grace that flows in, among and beyond us and our parishes.
Today, Jesus anticipates and assures us of peace, a peace that we will only come to know from our lives in Christ. Jesus directs us to go out as disciples, go out to spread the joy of our faith.
Today, as every day, we will make a decision-Jesus is providing the direction we should go, how will you live as an Easter person?