Easter Sunday: The Risen Jesus is Our Hope
sacrifice on Calvary (cf. CCC 671).
In our own times, it is not hard to notice an ever-increasing presence of evil powers in the world. The battle continues and it seems as if humanity is out of control.
The perversions of a world that has rejected the Savior of the world continues to carry much of humanity down the blind road of self-destruction. The crisis of our age is rooted in the presumption that we can decide for ourselves what is good and evil without reference to God.
The reality of the risen Jesus fills us with peace and consolation because he is truly with us. His resurrection assures us of his final victory over evil. The genuineness of Easter keeps us from worry, fear, and discouragement. It sustains us in times of trial and it opens the heart to the expectation of eternal life. However, this Easter should inspire us to be apostles of life because Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
"We are the people of life because God, in his unconditional love, has given us the Gospel of life and by this same Gospel we have been transformed and saved. We have been ransomed by the ´Author of life´ at the price of his precious blood. Through the waters of Baptism we have been made a part of him, as branches which draw nourishment and fruitfulness from the one tree. Interiorly renewed by grace of the Spirit, who is the Lord and giver of life, we have become a people for life and we are called to act accordingly" (Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II, #79.1)
The culture of death makes itself manifest in numerous ways throughout our modern world. Abortion, euthanasia, excessive use of capital punishment and continuous wars are a concern to us all. However, of all of these terrible manifestations of the culture of death, abortion is the worse of them all.
If we can destroy innocent human life inside of the womb of a mother, and this no longer shocks us or concerns us, then nothing else will ever shock us or gain our concern.
If a society can justify the killing of an innocent unborn child, then there is no limit as to what else a society can justify regarding any other person.
This is why if we really desire to have respect for the sick, the elderly and the dying; if we really want to curb the incorrect use of capital punishment; and if we truly desire lasting peace throughout the world, the first thing that we must assure is the right to life of the unborn child.
As long as abortion remains an unchecked course of action, violence and injustice will continue to submerge the world in a continual spiral of chaos.
The Church must not, and cannot remain silent.
The issue of abortion becomes obscured when it is lumped together on an equal basis with every other social issue that concerns us. Wisdom allows us to make objective distinctions and carefully understand the causes and effects of sinful human behavior on society.
Ideologies only polarize the Church and obscure the efficacy of its mission here on earth.
As we joyfully celebrate the bodily resurrection of the Risen Lord, let us renew our commitment to the cause of life and the building up of a new culture of life.
However, given the present intensity of the battle for life, many have become discouraged. Many maybe tired of the battle.
My dear friends remember the words of St. Teresa of Avila: "Let nothing trouble you. Let nothing frighten you. Everything passes. God never changes. Patience obtains all. Whoever has God, wants for nothing. God alone is enough" (Poesías 30).
Abandon yourself into the loving hands of an awesome God that loves us unconditionally. Allow yourself to be purified. Do not let yourself be consumed by anger, anxiety, frustration, discouragement or resentment. Enter into the dark night of the spirit. Do not be afraid. Allow yourself to be a transparent witness of the God of life.
Father James Farfaglia is the pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. Father has a hard hitting blog calledIllegitimi non carborundum. He has also published a book calledMan to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life. He is a contributing writer to Catholic Online.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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