Both Peter and Mary Magdalene reveal how Christ’s resurrection transforms our human weakness and empowers us for service in the world. We, too, are called to receive the grace of Easter into our hearts as the Lord takes the gift of our lives and equips us to proclaim the Good News.
One of the hallmarks of the Early Church was the transformation that took place in the hearts of the disciples. Standing before the Risen Lord, they were freed from the fear of sin and death as they opened their hearts to the power of repentance. Their example inspires us to call upon God for the grace we need every day to walk in the light His love.
The power of the resurrection transformed the early Church, showing us today that the Risen Lord continues to change our hearts and lives with the grace of His love. May we respond with an eager and lively faith!
Both Peter and Mary Magdalene are transformed by the power of the resurrection: Peter, formerly bound by fear, is now on fire to spread the Good News; Mary, overcome by sorrow, is now filled with joy. What in our life needs to be touched by the power of Christ’s resurrection? How can Easter transform our lives today?
In the early hours of that first Easter Day we celebrate an incredible hope as word spread through the city of Jerusalem – Jesus is alive.
His followers had been crushed by the agony of the Cross. Lost – beyond all sense of pain, sorrow, and grief – from the darkness of their fear and despair they passed on the message: we have seen him, we have touched him, we have eaten with him – the Lord has been raised!
I have always been struck by the transformational effect the resurrection of Jesus had upon his disciples:
Fear to Faith
Helplessness to Hope
Lament to Love
Cowardice to Courage
The same disciples who once fled for their lives will now go out into the world to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. They will face persecution, suffering, and martyrdom in order to testify to the truth of Easter Day: the Resurrection of Christ. What’s more, they will do this with an overwhelming sense of conviction and strength.
No one can ignore the power of this effect. The encounter with the Risen Lord changes everything. What is there to be afraid of? Jesus has broken the chains of sin and death – we can face anything in this world with confidence. Jesus has triumphed, and in the light of Easter Day we now draw on his strength to face our battles with joy.
The death of Jesus on the Cross was for our sins; the resurrection of Jesus was for our lives. The power of Easter Day directs our attention to the sacred and precious gift of life. Life is worth fighting for, worth dying for, and worth living for – in this world and the next. The resurrection reveals God’s love for our lives; we are worth the sacrifice of the Cross and empowered to live with faith, hope, and love.
How will we live this great promise of faith? How will we allow the power of Easter to transform us? For remember: the moment we acknowledge the truth of the resurrection our lives fundamentally change. Directed by the saving work of Christ we now engage the world on new terms: we witness through word and action the love of Jesus each and every day. With our eyes fixed on heaven we boldly walk this earth as his disciples. We live our lives with real truth and power. We live our lives as God’s sons and daughters.
The authentic witness of our faith is THE WAY that people truly discover Jesus. It was true for the disciples on that first Easter Day, and it is true for disciples today.
Perhaps today is the day that our faith takes on a deeper meaning and purpose in our lives – placing Jesus first in all that we say and do. May this Easter Day fill our hearts with grace and power to live in the light of Christ. May we let the Lord into our hearts and allow our lives to be transformed by his love.
Two students walked in to a class on the first day of the semester. The room was filled but they found a couple of chairs up front and sat through the opening remarks of the professor. As the class progressed both took copious notes and carefully followed the lecture. When the class was done, both waited to speak with the teacher.
The first said, “I need this class to graduate. Can you recommend what I need to focus on to get a good grade?” The professor nodded and wrote down a list of extra resources to study.
The second said, “I love this topic! Can you recommend anything I can read to learn more?” The professor smiled, pointed to the first student, and said, “Copy that list – and enjoy it!”
Point: have you ever noticed the difference between something you felt you had to do and something that you wanted to do? The first is an obligation; the second is a conviction.
So…how would you describe your faith?
Jesus speaks to a number of points in the Gospel of Matthew today, and in every case the Lord invites us to move from the obligation of the law to a new level of intensity – to embrace His words as a fundamental conviction that inspires us toward God and one another.
Do we consider our discipleship as something we have to carry out? Do we need a “good grade” to tow the line and get to heaven? Do we see our lives as completing a list of tasks?
Or are we disciples who look for new ways we grow? Do we seek to be transformed – to become something more – to open our hearts to the journey that happens when we let God completely into our lives?
It is this radical growth that can challenge us. Following Christ requires us to set aside our prejudices and presuppositions and be guided by the desire to be like Jesus. We will be asked to change, transform, grow, and allow our lives to be directed by the Lord.
Back to those students…both got good grades. But the first promptly forgot the class and never used it again. The second found the course interesting, moving, and planned a career and life decisions around the material.
How about us? Will our faith be something that is just a small part of our life, or will it be something that inspires and illuminates it? The first is an obligation we fulfill; the second is a way of life that brings God’s life to ourselves and those around us.