I came across a few lines in “The Word” – a weekly column that unpacks the upcoming Sunday’s scripture in America Magazine – that caught my attention. Barbara Reid, O.P., writes: “Easter is not only what happened to Jesus but, to a great degree, it is about what happens to us as we live lives that are transformed by his rising. …We await not only final transformation but, every time we stand with the crucified peoples of our day, as did Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, the Risen One is alive in us as we break the hold of the death-dealing powers even now.”
The older I get, the more I appreciate that the call and challenge of Easter is never confined to just a personal, interior change of heart and a feel good kind of getting my act together. Rather I am called to be a part of the transformation of our culture and our world. I am invited to run breathlessly, heart racing, as did the women and the disciples from the tomb, back into the world, there to make a difference.
I find the daily newspapers a ‘good’ place to start, in that it brings to my attention so readily, all the places that still need to know the power of Christ’s love.
- So how can I not pray for and stand with the people of Libya in the midst of their oppression?
- How can I keep my voice silent as the Congress debates and tries to come to an agreement on its yearly “moral document” – called a budget? And make no mistake about it, budgets are value based, moral documents. They reveal to us what we value as a people and a nation. Though people of good will can differ about approaches and what needs to be kept and what needs to go, I continue to find it disturbing the “given’s” in our budget process. One example: How can I stand silent while MY tax dollars are used to fund the largest provider of abortion services in the country?
- How can I build up an inner sense of worth in high school and college students I meet and work with so that they will not feel a need to turn to the drugs that continue to fuel the violence in Mexico. In Juarez alone, it is estimated that 20,000 have been killed because of drug related violence.
So, read the papers this week. And then ‘sit’ in prayer with the headlines. Which one calls to you, which one seems to invite a response, however small, to bring the Risen One’s strength to bring about resurrected life? And then get busy being the bearer of good news…