The Risen One Brings Joy

Post Date: April 26, 2022
Author: Sacred Heart Blog

Dear brothers and sisters,

Christ is Risen, truly risen, and this event brings us the joy of knowing that we are sons and daughters of God. As the Apostle Saint Paul says, our preaching is meaningless and in vain if Christ has not risen. (Cf. 1 Cor 15, 14-17)

Today, we live in a world submerged with wars, discord, divisions, consumerism, ideologies of all kinds, dictatorships, etc. The risen Jesus reminds us that our call as disciples is to BE witnesses of God’s love by carrying the message of salvation to all those who do not know him. Beginning of course, with our families, even when we know from the mouth of Jesus himself that no one is a prophet in his land. (Cf. Lk 4, 24), However, the command he has given us should move us to walk with the joy of knowing the resurrection with him into a new life.

My beloved, the Church, since its foundation, has taught us the universality of the message is not in the hands of only a few. If we want to call ourselves Christians, we must do as he commands, just as Mary, our Holy Virgin Mother, reminds us in the wedding scene at Cana. (Cf. Jn. 2, 1-12) Calling oneself Catholic requires humility, wise humility. In a world full of pride and selfishness, we must be true witnesses following the words of Jesus, “I send them to be disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (Mt. 28, 19-20)

This command was not a suggestion; it was a mandate. Satan, on the contrary, has been in charge of all the lies and division. Many of us, sadly, have fallen into his game.

The Holy Father, Francis, in his apostolic exhortation, Joy of the Gospel, tells us, “The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and the whole life of those who encounter Jesus. With Jesus Christ, joy is always born and reborn.” (Evangelii Gaudium) A transforming encounter with the risen Jesus would cause our hearts to burn just like the disciples at Emmaus (Cf. Lk. 24,13-35). Our hearts would burn with the desire to spread Jesus’ message, not according to our will, but by the will of the one who sends us, Jesus, who founded his Church in the person of Peter and his apostles (Cf. Matthew 16, 13-20). In this Gospel passage, we are presented with precisely this fundamental Truth of our faith, on which our hope and our trust are based: Jesus Christ founded his Church and placed Peter and his successors as the cornerstone of it!! The Truth gives strength and solidity to our faith, and that is why we proclaim ourselves, with holy pride, “Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman!”

With the news of the Risen One, we must go forward knowing that we are not alone, that when we decide to risk ourselves for the kingdom of Jesus, to be his disciples, He is already waiting. He has already taken the initial step to train us and freely give us everything we need to fulfill the mission. Let us not be afraid, brothers and sisters; it does us so much good to turn our gaze to Him, even when we have failed Him, even when the weight of our sins eats away at our consciences; he forgives us 70 times 7. He continues to give His life in each Eucharist for you and me, so when He returns, we find life and life in abundance. We go with the certainty that He is alive. We live in the joy the resurrection brings us, not closed in on ourselves, not in the four walls of our temple or our ministry. Let us be prophets of the grace of Jesus for all humanity; let us not flee from the resurrection; let us not see it as one more celebration of the Church, which happened 2000 years ago. Let us rather see him as alive and present among us in the world today.

Jesus is the only person to have ever resurrected from the dead. His powerful testimony of eternal life and salvation is what calls us into the mission of the church, to go forward, sharing the good news with the world.

Long live the Risen Christ, long live Christ the King!

Your servant and friend,

Deacon Eddy Valbuena

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