Monday, March 28, 2016

How Do You Respond to Easter?

Dear Friends,
I have a folder full of wonderfully crafted pieces that believers in the Risen One have written about Easter over the centuries. For this Easter week, rather than write something of my own, I offer from this collection excerpts from a homily preached at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, Washington DC by  Rev. James C. Holmes in Easter, March 31, 1991.
Interruption is fundamental to our experience of God. The story of creation is the story of God interrupting, breaking into the nothingness which is called chaos and bring order and life… God interrupted that meaningless void with something which is our world, which is humanity. Clearly nothing was the same anymore, and a task of that newly created humanity was to respond to its creator, to the one who out of love had formed them.
Interruption is the story of Easter. God interrupted death, interrupted the power and flow of the forces of evil …Nations and people could have gone on as before, drawing near to God then falling away in an assertion of their own independence in a never ending cycle had not God interrupted in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, and interrupted supremely by walking into that tomb and raising Him from the dead…
In a profound sense, God interrupts our lives, whether we like it or not, but the question for us today is how do we respond to the interruption, particularly to the news of Easter? Is it an interruption only in the sense that we somehow feel compelled to be in church?... The important issue is are we willing to realize that our lives have been interrupted with the assertion that power, money, status are but short lived symbols which we have allowed to take hold of us…Are we willing to be interrupted by the needs around us?
The news of Easter is that God has interrupted and continues to interrupt our lives with unending, undeserved love for us. {Let us have} a renewed sense of our own ministry of interruption, as agents of the love of God breaking into our world.”
In Brussels last week, many suffered interruption in the form of death, injury, not knowing, not being able to get somewhere “important” in a timely way. The forces of evil , present in ISIS and other demonic ways people act toward one another, seem uninterrupted, but not for long and certainly not forever. God interrupts evil . We participate in that interruption. Make no mistake about it. God counts on our participation in restoring the world to wholeness. The Easter season goes on in us.
As Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, recently wrote "Let us not domesticate the still stunning and disturbing message of resurrection. Rather, let us allow it to unnerve us, change us, set us on fire.”
~ Sister Joan Sobala