Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Easter: The Triumph Of Hope

Christians have treasured the Easter story of two disciples meeting Jesus as they walked the few miles from Jerusalem to the town of Emmaus.  That trip and its events changed the despondent  travelers’ lives.  The last  scene of breaking bread with Jesus deserves reflection by all who celebrate Eucharist in a Catholic or any other setting.

When Jesus broke bread with the two disciples, their hopes and dreams, untenable just moments before,  became not only possible but inevitable.  Jesus, who embodied such promise, was not only alive, he was with them, once again caring about and caring for them. 

The Jesus they had followed and come to know was a man of immense vistas.  He was not a theological test demanding humble assent, he was a man who brought hope, who made hope conceivable by forgiving and reflecting the Father’s forgiveness of their weakness and failings.  In Jesus they had discovered that the future was not determined by human limitations but by God’s boundless love.

These disciples knew Jesus lived when they ate bread with him.  In the nurturing, sharing community of a meal they recognized that their dreams and hopes hadn’t died on a Roman cross three days before. 

It wasn’t simply the awareness that Jesus hadn’t succumbed to the evil of Rome’s self -centered ruthlessness and Judea’s self-preserving fear.  The one they had hoped would redeem Israel and beyond hadn’t been driven from life.  The gift of knowing that renewed their courage and determination.  It was that renewal within themselves as much as the living presence of Jesus that filled their hearts.

Easter isn’t a remembrance of something that happened to someone else two millennia ago.  Easter is a belief in life and its future.  Easter is courage and excitement for life grounded in faith.  Easter is the joyous assurance that God’s Future is alive and growing in our world.

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