“Although yo uhave not seen Him you love Him; even though you do not see Him now yet believe in Him, you rejoince with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”1 Peter 1:8, 9
My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Joyous Blessings to you this holy season of Easter! The Scriptures of the Second Sunday speak to the early Church. It speaks to their manifestation of love for God and for one another; their focus on the Eucharist; and the joy they experience as they serve God. They experience wonders and signs done by the apostles; but know they are gifts to them from God. They also experience fear because they are being persecuted and sought out as followers of Jesus. The Gospel of St. John speaks to the time when the disciples of Jesus are locked inside of themselves and Jesus appears within their midst to bring them His eternal Peace. While the Gospel proclaimed occurs earlier than the writing of the others, the Peace offered by Jesus transcends that early Christian community with courage. Through receiving Jesus, the Eucharist, they are truly able to live within His presence. They do what Jesus asked, love one another as I have loved you.
God wills we realize our personalities in, with, and for the world as one Body of Christ. Jonathan Montaldo, MA, a contributor to L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican City, writes, “The path to a Christian intimacy of purpose with others is our behaving in ways that manifest the dignity we each possess as we are alive together in the universe.” Our ordinary, daily tasks through which we serve one another are God’s provisions for our becoming “awake to the joy of being alive together!” As the early Christians manifest to us, our heart enfolds God’s love and care for one another as the foundation of our daily living. We profess that we believe the Holy Spirit in Christ generates the ground of all our community relationships.
On April 15, I am grateful for the planning of the celebration of Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe for Catholic Charities of Central Florida staff and volunteers whose ministry is to serve the poor. They are today’s example of God’s provisions for our joy to be alive together! Their service is a testament of the Spirit of the Lord upon us as their care for God’s holy people according to each one’s need, that everyone together enjoys favor with one another.
“This is our glory and our hope,” Thomas Merton wrote, “we are the Body of Christ. Christ loves and espouses us as His own flesh. That should be enough for us, but we do not really believe it. Be content. Be content: we are the Body of Christ. We have found Him; He has found us. We are in Him: He is in us. There is nothing further to look for except the deepening of this life we already possess. Be content” (A Search for Solitude, p. 70).
Jesus is within each one of us. Do you see Him present? Jesus speaks to us about recognizing Him as we are called to serve each other. The staff and volunteers of Catholic Charities of Central Florida offer their service to Jesus and Jesus replies in Mt 25:40, “Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for Me.”
During this Easter season, will you follow Jesus? Will you respond to His mandate to receive Him? Will you come to the celebration of Mass to be nourished by Jesus the Eucharist? I pray our belief brings Christ to one another.