He is Risen!! Hallelujah!!!

Easter 2019

Happy Easter!

On this glorious Easter Sunday, I welcome all of you and thank you for joining us in celebrating this great feast.

Why is the Resurrection of Jesus the cornerstone of our Christian faith? St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians said, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (15:14)

When we look at all the religions in the world, we see that each of them had a founder. These founders left behind sets of beautiful teachings for their followers. However, each of these died and none of their followers have ever claimed that their founder had resurrected from their death and is currently alive – at this very moment. This uniqueness belongs exclusively to Christianity. On Easter Sunday, we profess to the world our belief that Jesus has truly been raised from the dead and, although invisible, he is currently with us.

The Resurrection of Jesus enables him to be simultaneously present to all human beings on the face of the earth. Before death, Jesus was physically limited to a certain place in time, but through his resurrection, he is no longer constrained by time and space. He is beyond time. He is present in our human world, but not bound by its conditions.

We believe that through the Eucharist, in the bread and wine, we receive Jesus’ body and blood as food for our journey, just as God gave the Israelites manna from heaven on their journey to the Promised Land. Jesus promised us, “This is my body, this is my blood” and that He would be with us to the end of days.

Some people question the Eucharist, “How can this be his body and blood?” Because he is no longer bound by earthly conditions and time and space, this is only possible because of the Resurrection. After being raised from death, Jesus did not say to us, “I did it and now it is your turn.” Instead, he remains with us. His physical presence in the Bread and Wine give us the same love, confidence, strength and grace to pass from death into eternal life. He has done it, and now he is helping us do the same, enabling us to enter into eternal happiness with him.

Without this cornerstone of our faith, the Resurrection of Jesus, all our beliefs would be in vain. In this world of pain, sorrows and tears, Easter reminds us that life is a gift worth living. It is our belief in the Risen Jesus that gives meaning to our lives. “Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ within me, never to part” (St. Patrick).

Kathryn Richards