My Dear People,
Happy Easter to Everyone! I want to thank everyone who contributed to the CFA. If you have not contributed, please make a contribution so that we will be able to reach our goal this year. The envelopes are in the vestibule of the church, or you may go directly to the Diocese of Venice website.
Today is Easter Sunday, the most important feast of the year. It was the resurrection of Jesus that made a difference in the lives of the apostles. Each and every one of them were motivated to go forward with the message of salvation after they believed that Jesus had risen, and he was alive. After Jesus died, the apostles were all distraught. Maybe some thought that everything was over. For this reason, Thomas was not there the first time Jesus appeared in the upper room, the day of his resurrection. We see two of Jesus’ disciples, distraught that Jesus had died, giving up and going to Emmaus. They had turned their back on Jerusalem. They did not think there was anything left for them to do. They thought that now that Jesus had died, everything was over. When Mary Magdalene told the apostles that Jesus had risen, they were too distraught to believe her. Peter and John had to check the tomb for themselves. Jesus reprimanded them for not believing her. What makes their response interesting was that Jesus had told them what was going to happen (Mark 8:31). He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. The message did not sink in; they heard it, but they did not believe it was truly going to happen. After all, no one has ever come back from the dead on their own. It was something that, in their mind, did not compute. Maybe there may have been a small thought in the recesses of their mind, and there was a small hope that this would come to pass.
The ones who did believe this was going to happen were the Jewish leaders. They are the ones who went to Pilate and requested that he put a guard on the tomb, so no one would steal the body of Jesus and claim that he was alive. From what we have observed, the thinking of the disciples and the apostles was the opposite of this. They were so devastated by the death of Jesus that they did not know what to do. Maybe the only thing that they could do was to wait and see. This indeed they did. They remained in the upper room, so that allowed them to see Jesus when he appeared to them and told them to go to the whole world and proclaim the gospel and that he would always be with them.
We know that Jesus is risen, and we have observed the history of the church which from the day of Pentecost has grown by leaps and bounds, especially at its very beginning. However, we settle for the status quo, we do not act as if Jesus is dead, yet we do not act as if Jesus is risen. This year, let us reflect on this event, and how it can impact our lives much more deeply, and make a greater difference. As a matter of fact, we have the whole Easter Season to reflect on the risen Christ, and the impact that He can have in our lives, so that this year our behavior will reflect the Risen Christ more than ever before.
Happy Easter to all, and may the risen Jesus inspire your lives!
Fr. Vincent Clemente