I feel compelled this year to share with you the “risen life” words of our beloved Holy Father, Pope Francis:
What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself;
it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom.
The love of God can do this!
As I read these words from the Holy Father last year it struck me that, more powerful than the words themselves was Pope Francis’ own conviction and personal living out of those words—his evident personal relationship with the Risen Christ. We are all taken with the pope’s obvious preference for the poor, his absolute delight in children and youth, and his bold tackling of current issues and challenges within our Church—but no one seems to be asking, “How does he do all of this?” or “How IS he all of this?” We seem to simply accept Pope Francis’ truth and his authenticity. At the same time, I can’t help but think, the pope’s secret is that he figured out a long time ago how (in the words of St. Paul) “to wear Christ like a garment” through life.
And so, please join me in praying to the Risen One this Easter Sunday, that we too might rediscover the power sown into our Baptismal garments, to live each day in the knowledge that God’s love is stronger that any evil we may encounter and stronger than death itself. May we be empowered—even now—to look and see beyond the grave. We together pray that our Lenten journey has afforded us the opportunity to be so transformed by God’s love, that hope has taken root in whatever may have constituted our personal or family desert places, and that joy may come to full bloom there. May people from any and all walks of life be attracted to the Risen Christ they see and experience in us. Finally, let us pray, then, that this Easter 2014, in our world, in our homes, in our parish of St. Rita, and in the Universal Church, may be like no other!