The joy of Easter resurrection and the celebration of the empty tomb are still very much in my thoughts as I write. This is an opportune time for me to thank all those who have made Lent and Easter so special – all those who have organised, contributed to and supported the various events and services which have taken place: your efforts have been truly appreciated.
If we are not careful though it is all too easy now for life to return to its usual pattern and for the specialness of these recent weeks to be lost amongst the everyday demands on our time and energy. The ‘Wow!’ factor of the Easter message can be buried in concerns about home, health and families and in the larger problems nationally and across the world. Yet we have just been reminded of the great gift of salvation through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection – a gift which is offered to us and to all who would accept it. We have heard again the message of the Good News: the Gospel message of hope fulfilled and love triumphant – and we have rejoiced.
It was a message which stirred up the friends of Jesus in ways they could never previously have dreamed of. Their lives would never be the same again – and neither should ours! But how, as disciples in our present age, do we make that message count? What do we say, how do we act so as to demonstrate the faith that is at the crux of our lives?
The friends on the Emmaus road encountered Jesus as they journeyed. His words resonated with them and finally they recognised him in the simple and familiar. Then what a difference in them! They left straightaway and retraced their steps so that they could breathlessly and joyfully share the good news of their encounter with others. How do we react when we meet with Jesus on our journeys of life? Do we recognise him in the simple and the familiar? Do we let his love and words make a difference to us and, if we do, do we even yet hesitate to demonstrate that love to those we encounter?
In this post-Easter season the challenge for all of us, I believe, is to ensure that we do not put Jesus back into the tomb but live as those who have been transformed and who long, in turn to transform, through prayer and faithful discipleship, our families, our community and our world.
May God bless each of you as you continue your journey of faith with our risen Lord.
With love and prayers,