I hope and pray your Easter was a renewal in your relationship with Jesus. Everything we hear about the New Evangelization tells us that it begins with a renewed encounter with Christ. Easter is certainly a time for such experience! 

During this Octave of Easter, when we continue to celebrate each day as Easter Sunday, is a perfect time to make ‘Easter Resolutions,’ much like we made ‘Lenten Resolutions.’  May I suggest that these Easter Resolutions be centered around the New Evangelization?  How do I in my life draw nearer to the Risen Christ?  How do I in my life shed the Light of the Gospel to the world around me?  How do I in my life share my faith in Jesus Christ with others?  Do I embrace the crosses of my life with faith and hope in a manner that unites my sacrifices to THE sacrifice of Jesus?

I am presently enjoying a very grace-filled Easter.  As I prayerfully reflect on this, part of the reason I believe this Easter is filled with so much grace is that the cross has been much more a part of my life and ministry.  And, the cross as we know intimately associates us with Jesus.  The cross always leads us to a deeper experience of life, particularly the life of faith.

Painting by Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651) presently at Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp

Already this Easter, I’ve had the opportunity to be with people of faith, and to be in their homes and share a meal.  These are simple, everyday experiences, but moments that grant us glimses of the Risen Christ.  Anytime we can pray with others or share our faith experience and journey, the Risen Christ walks with us as He walked with the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus.  (Luke 24:13-35)

Already the demands of the day-to-day life are challenging me to remain in Christ.  The small sacrifices that are a part of faithfully living out my vocation and responsibilities will once again begin to tempt me to be more concerned about self rather than others.  It is in these moments that faith is tested, strengthened, and the Easter grace of sacramental life allows us to endure with greater faith, greater love, greater hope.  It is in these moments with the optic of faith that we are able to have glimpses of the accompanying presence of the Risen Christ.

May your path and journey this day lead to endurance.  May your path and journey today grant the grace and glimpses of the Risen Christ walking at your side.  May our path and journey today allow us to be that accompanying presence of Christ to others.