u-s-catholic-sunday-reflections

A reflection for Easter Sunday

Father Michael Carter reflects on the readings for April 17, 2022.

Readings (Year C):

Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23.
Colossians 3:1-4
John 20:1-9

Reflection: We are called into community

“For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead”

A miracle: we think that way about the Resurrection. Unfortunately, for us, seeing is believing, so it seems the more we think about the notion of a miracle, the less likely we are to believe it. Sad, because a fundamental reality of Christianity is acknowledging that we are not God, and God is bigger than we are. We need to open ourselves up to this notion, this possibility of receiving God. This movement: we move towards God because we are drawn to truth, drawn to love.

Because God is bigger than we are, we often use the word “mystery” to describe the relationship. But it’s not a “whodunit” or a detective story; it’s a relationship, built on movement and growth. In a relationship, we should not seek to control. We seek instead to be let into another person’s life, another person’s world. We seek the gift of themselves that they freely give, and we choose to give ourselves in the same way. We have to enter into a relationship with God, not seek to control it. This is a challenge. We crave control. But God is bigger. And we are not God.

But God is a part of us. God tells us about God, God communicates to us. This communication is a part of our growth with God. In communicating, God creates. God gives us life. It’s true that we grapple with God, because God chooses to be present in our complexity. God is communicating in the context of our relationship.

Advertisement

The fullness of God’s communication is known to us as the person of Jesus Christ. Because in Jesus, God is communicating as we do. God became human to be with us, to communicate with us. It’s about intimacy. We’re invited into a relationship with God through Jesus, and we’re each invited into a relationship with each other. How God envisions the world, and how we should act in the world, is shown to us in the person and works of Jesus Christ—a different sort of person, and a different way of being. We say that Jesus rose on Easter, and we see that Jesus is the ultimate bridge between God and us. Through our shared humanity, we reach out to divinity. In following Christ, that means we have a relationship, that means we are in the world, as he was in the world. We are all called into community with each other, in this world together.

Easter is the birth of possibility, this recognition of the power of God at work in the world, the power of being part of a community, a Church that Christ put in place to bring us together. It is the recognition of the power that comes from living as Jesus did, serving one another, helping one another, and loving one another. This is the Easter message, and the continual message of the Church today, and every day.

About the author

Father Michael Carter, S.S.E.

Fr. Michael Carter, S.S.E. is a lecturer of religious studies at St. Michael’s College in Vermont.

Add comment