Easter meditation on justice and peace.Come out from Egypt and be free! Rise up and greet the New Dawn of hope! Break the chains of slavery, destroy every yoke, abolish every oppression.
"The world proposes that we put ourselves forward at all costs, that we compete, that we prevail… But Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help.
"This is not weakness, but true strength! Those who bear within them God’s power, his love and his justice, do not need to employ violence; they speak and act with the power of truth, beauty and love.
"From the risen
Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which
fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage
of pardon and peace. We ask Jesus, the Victor over
death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers
and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all
those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing
conflicts and violence. . . May the marginalized, the
imprisoned, the poor and the migrants who are so often
rejected, maltreated and discarded, the sick and the
suffering, children, especially those who are victims of
violence; all who today are in mourning, and all men and
women of goodwill, hear the consoling voice of the Lord
Jesus: “Peace to you!” (Lk 24:36). “Fear not, for I am
risen and I shall always be with you” (cf. Roman Missal,
Entrance Antiphon for Easter Day). Pope Francis,
Urbi et Orbi message, April 5, 2015
You just can't keep a good man down.
When that Roman soldier thrust his lance into Jesus' side, and then when his body was taken down from the Cross and laid in the arms of his most Blessed Mother, and then when his body was wrapped up and placed in a tomb, and then when soldiers were posted as guards to make sure no one could steal the body, the rulers of injustice thought that "that was that" for one obscure and troublesome red-necked rabbi from the provinces.
But the story doesn't end there.
It's easy to get into a "that was that" attitude about
justice issues, especially when there is so much
injustice, when power becomes arrogant, and when the poor
are oppressed. It's raining, the boat is filling up, and
all I have is a teaspoon to bail with. Maybe you are in a
swamp, and the alligators are stacking up about waist
high. Despair and all that flows from it -- silence,
acquiescence, procrastination -- is always a temptation.
But "all that is"
is not just what you can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell
with your earthly senses. There is an entire spiritual
reality that is as "real" as anything you can bite and
taste or feel and smell. It is all around us, New Life --
Easter Life -- victory over death and evil. The Reign of
God is upon and among us. That's also reality.
Every moment we live in justice and peace, we experience
the Reign of God. Chaos may rage and violence may come,
but all of the powers of evil will not win against God.
This isn't a counsel to turn away from injustice, but
instead a clarion call to action.
Resurrection of Jesus gives us the courage and
inspiration to do what needs to be done on behalf of
peace and justice in a world of sorrow and fear.
We are truly an Easter people. We have received the
message of the Risen Christ, who preaches to us the good
news of salvation from sin and liberation from all wicked
oppressions. We are washed in the waters of baptism,
anointed with the oil of salvation, and fed at the table
of the Lord. To understand this Easter is to live this
reality, moment by moment.
So it comes to pass that our eyes and ears and hearts become open to the ever-renewing Spirit of the Lord, who helps us to discern the signs of these times and who empowers us to live in the passionate freedom of the love of Christ, as we join with our neighbors in building the Reign of God right here, right now.