An Easter Reflection by AUSCP Member Bob Wenz.
Like the disciples in that gospel, all we have is an empty tomb…and lilies.
So why believe? Why believe when it seems like nothing is really different. Nothing has really changed, has it? Priests sometimes preach pious platitudes, again, about the circle of death being ended and then we go home and eat ham, potato salad and hardboiled eggs. And life is still the same on Monday… Or is it?
We still struggle with loneliness and sickness; with the absolute stupidity of bigotry, hate, hunger and poverty in a country of plenty… for a few./// We still struggle with the death of those we love, the death of marriages, the death of dreams…. Things have not really changed any after Easter.
So where is the new hope, new power, and new life of the Resurrection?? There really isn’t any, if you and I reduce our faith simply to a memorized creed we say on Sundays, that we learned in grade school.
There is no living proof to support belief in resurrection if you and I are not at least trying to live it…. And I mess it up every day!
The hope of the resurrection only becomes real for us, when we allow it to. When we moment by moment choose to, accept the fact that we don’t have all the answers in life, and we can’t do life alone.
When we choose to accept the fact that down deep inside, I am, we each are, just scared little kids at times, trying to act like grown ups who have our act together. I don’t and I don’t know of anyone who does.
Resurrection happens when we choose to take the risk of believing that He really did rise, and really is alive. And it is a risk. But taking a risk is at the bottom of EVERY relationship. And faith IS a relationship, that can or should grow and change and is different for each of us…no matter what church, synagogue, mosque, or temple we go to…or don’t.
Through our questioning and learning and wondering and doubting (as did Thomas), if our faith deepens, it needs to radically change how I live my life, in every part of my life.
**This faith of ours is supposed to radically change:
- How I treat those I love and those I don’t…especially the poor, I believe Jesus said that.
- **What I really value in my life. // This faith is supposed to radically change my words, my attitudes, my opinions, my actions, so that they come from my faith, not my fear.
- **Who I really listen to; who I, what I, really believe.
Because we either really believe this stuff, or don’t really believe;… we have hope or really don’t, precisely because of each other.
*Because of each other we believe that:
- life is longer than death
- love is stronger than hate
- faith makes more sense than fear
- hope is deeper than despair
… We believe all this, because we try to see Him, within ourselves and within each other.
**We believe that He really is alive and is within:
- our happiness and our hurt; our loss, and our loneliness;
- He is with us in our addictions, our sins, our successes and our struggles.
- He is with us as we try to love others, whom we take for granted or whom we really don’t like; and when we try to forgive and love ourselves, when we believe no one else could… He does.
- We believe or have trouble believing all this, because we hear, or don’t hear and see Him, through each other.
Jesus is Risen…Do my words and my life at least try to show it, so that others might really believe it? (Renewal of Promises: And on this feast of faith I ask you, do you really believe…)