It has been a kidney stone of a year.
The media have certainly featured enough bad news to last a lifetime. It’s not really their fault. There has been a great deal of bad news.
Internationally, there has been the rise of terrorism around the world but especially in Paris and Brussels.
Nationally, unemployment is a reality for many and a fear for many more as companies and corporations downsize, though management calls it “right sizing”. The 1% are getting richer at the expense of the poor and the shrinking middle class. The news more often resembles a police blotter report than anything else. Not to mention the insults, attacks, innuendo, and sometimes outright lies (misspoken of course) that now characterize our politics.
In our state there are budget crises at every level of government while various groups nonetheless lobby for a larger piece of a shrinking pie.
On the Church front, we are still dealing with the fallout of the revelation of scandals, both sexual and financial. We face adjustments on parish levels caused by fewer priests, “right sizing” of the number of parishes, also known as pastoral planning.
We need some good news.
Today we hear the ultimate “feel good” story” of all time. “Why look for the living One among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!!” What those first visitors to the empty tomb encountered was something beyond their ability to comprehend. The women go the apostles and the other, and their story is thought nonsense. Peter runs to the tomb, finding it empty as the women told them and the burial cloths still there and comes away amazed; not yet believing but only amazed. For us too, it may seem too good to be true. But it is true! Easter tells us as clearly as possible that what is here is not all that is; that what we experience and endure in this life is not the whole story; that even death cannot claim forever those loved by God, each of us who believe in and follow the Lord Jesus.
This is not a Pollyanna approach to life, however. We have to deal with the fact that tragedies do happen; wars are fought; the innocent sometimes suffer; adjustments must be made.
Easter simply tells us that there is more, more life and more joy than we can perceive at this moment. It tells us that God is not dead, that hope is not misplaced, that God’s love far exceed any expectation we might have had, and that, finally, good news triumphs over bad news and life over death always. ALWAYS!
And so, on behalf of the entire staff of St. John Fisher I wish you the Happiest Easter!