Easter Sunday 2018
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
During this past Lent I have permitted my dominant temperament, melancholia, to highlight the troubles within me and all around me. I pondered Original Sin.
The holy season began with the killing of children and their teachers in Florida. We have been repeatedly told that "freedom is not free." Apparently, the slaughter of innocents is the price we pay for the "right to bear arms." It's a heavy price to pay.
But I have been cheered by the children's crusade that sprang up after the slaughter. They will meet opposition from their well-armed classmates but their message must go out to all the earth. (See also, Matthew 24:14)
As part of my Lenten exercise I read "Three Negro Classics," a compilation of important essays by Booker T. Washington, D.E.B Dubois, and James Weldon Johnson. I actually found the book in a Goodwill store several years ago, and bought it for fifty cents, with the vague idea I should read it someday. That day came this year; I wish I had read it in highschool!
These essays describe the "Original Sin of America;" So long as we believe "all are created equal" our greatest betrayal of our own beliefs will be the inequities we maintain. Washington, Dubois and Johnson celebrate the gift of Africa to the United States, and the hope that we will someday live under the twin banners of justice and mercy. As I read these early 20th century documents, I found it helpful to notice that the issues which occupy our daily news scroll have preoccupied Americans since the Founding. Hatred takes many forms; but so does hope, courage, intelligence and generosity. I was moved especially by the compassion these black writers show for their white oppressors.
Around the world today Christians celebrate the sunrise, even as Catholics last night celebrated the paschal candle shining in darkness. With the sunrise lamps may be extinguished. We needed them in the dark. We needed to supply those pathetic lights with oil, wood or electricity to keep them lit. They're all superfluous in daylight.
Shadows prevailed in the night. They were everywhere. They disappear in sunlight, especially when the sun is directly overhead. Easter is our zero shadow day. The Lord has won the victory.
Easter celebrates the Hope that will not surrender. The Victory has been won. Our efforts to do justice and to love goodness do not bring about the Lord's Victory. Rather, they are our response to God's invitation to join the fun! Much as our celebration of the Mass by our responses, gestures, songs and receiving the Eucharist demonstrates God's reign in our hearts, so do our good deeds show the Kingdom of God in our world.
We are motivated and energized by an indomitable Hope, that divine virtue which, in the face of this world's corruption, can only come from God.
We have seen the light; we're not working in darkness anymore, although many around us are. Daily and many times a day we invite our loved ones to open their eyes and see that God is Good. He has won! There is nothing to fear.