Alleluia, Jesus is Risen! But are we?

After a Lent spent looking at how we are called to be “Walking in Solidarity” with others, we celebrate on this joyful spring day how all is made new in the Lord.

For if we follow Jesus’ example of dying to ourselves, we can also experience a risen life. And this new life allows us to rise above whatever keeps us from the fullness of life that God desires for us. It allows us to rise above the societal divisions and truly be peacefully united in solidarity with all of our brothers and sisters.

Like the disciples who at first did not recognize the risen Jesus when he appeared to them, may he open our eyes this Easter to his surprising presence in others. May he help us to recognize him in those who are poor, or who are different from us.

And like those first disciples, may we be transformed by Jesus living presence from a people who are  broken, frightful, and mournful, to a people who are confident, joyful and eager to spread the Good News.

“On the evening of that first day of the week,when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. [Jesus] said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’” – John 20:19-21

May this Easter rejuvenate and empower us to fulfill his call to go out to be witnesses of peace and joy.

We pray this Easter especially for those answering this call by serving as Franciscan lay missioners overseas in Kenya and Bolivia. May they continue to see God in the economically impoverished communities in which they serve, and may God continue to bless those communities with wondrous beauty.