I continue to offer my Alleluias to all of you in this Easter Season! Our Sacred texts have had us reflecting and celebrating Resurrection! Jesus is alive! From our Easter weekend we heard from Matthew about Mary Magdalene and the great earthquake, with an angel announcing Jesus has been raised , go, tell the others. And then Mary once again, in another Gospel, written by John, goes to tell Peter and John, that she didn’t find Jesus’s body in the tomb. Then, the Risen Jesus comes to a locked room of the disciples, saying “Peace be with you.” Thomas is there and has all his doubts put in place.
Last week, we encountered mourning disciples lost in their thoughts. On the road to Emmaus, a “stranger” comes and sets them straight and in their welcoming him into their home. Broken and blessed bread brings about burning hearts. This weekend we hear Jesus speak about being sheep and hearing his voice. Who will be the ones to recognize it?
As I write this simple reflection, I am very grateful for much in this Easter time. I am also saddened once again.
This past week had stories I wish were unbelievable but they are not. When I was a younger person I was at my home parish, Holy Ghost for some event. Neighbors were going to bring me home. After the event I went out into the parking lot and went to a car that I thought was my neighbors and got in the back seat. To the occupants surprise and my own, I was in the wrong car. No one raised a gun to shoot me.
Years later, as an adult, I was invited to a home. I arrived to what I believed to be their home and walked in as the weather was nice and the front door was opened. Oops, wrong home! Fortunately, the residents recognized me even if I did not know them. They did not pull out a gun.
One more story that is not about me but Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. His secretary, Father Mike Hogan told the story. The two of them
were to go to Waterloo for a Confirmation. They pull up to the front of the church and Archbishop Sheen needed to use a bathroom. He jumped out of the car and ran into a home he thought was the parish rectory. Coming downstairs he discovered he was in the home of the next door neighbors. No one pulled out a gun.
I am Caucasian. Bishop Sheen was Caucasian and dressed in clerical garb. We were safe, if not embarrassed.
Recently, a young boy goes to pick up his two brothers. He goes to a wrong address ringing a door bell. He is shot multiple times. He’s not Caucasian but he is a human being just ringing a door bell. A basketball rolls into someone’s yard, folks go just to retrieve it and gun fire greets them. They are Caucasian and they are human beings. These events dampen my Alleluias. I will still resonate my voice and beliefs in Jesus Christ but find myself asking, why cannot people be more kind and Christlike?
If you have fear at your door bell being rung or a basketball rolling upon your property, for God’s sake, just call 911. Do not pull out a gun and shoot at children and others. Some may call me naïve. If I am, it’s in the belief of Jesus Christ and His message. Do we not work together to make it a reality?
Last year, a favorite composer of mine died on February 8th. His name is Burt Bacharach. I enjoyed so many of his compositions and those who sang them. One particular piece comes to me now. It is entitled “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” Isn’t that the truth. Even in the days Jesus walked this world to this present moment, that is an ongoing message.
How am I bringing Easter life and Jesus’s love into my existence? How are you doing the same?
May we pray for one another with resounding Alleluias and love from our being that reflects what we proclaim in the promises of our Risen Lord!