Christ is Risen, Alleluia!

As we move from the sombre days of Holy week, the joy and exhilaration of Easter begins to rise in us.
Pondering on Christ’s life on earth, his teachings, miracles, suffering, death, and resurrection to life in glory give rise to the sense that these deep mysteries are way beyond our human comprehension. The moving Liturgical Services stir something deep within us; challenge us to make sense of the life we are leading.

I find myself falling back on those simple of Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity learnt in Childhood. We call these the Supernatural Virtues.

When we consider the state of our world, Christ’s redemptive work appears to be thwarted, derailed by greed and selfishness, the refusal to love. We are constantly bombarded with noisy adverts, glitter and flashing lights, driving our desire for more and more stuff, feeding our selfishness and desire for the new and better, the latest models, the up to date fashions. Atheism and agnosticism are rife and the notion of ‘God’ is blamed for the wars and violence around the world.

Meanwhile the poor get poorer, the earth gets ravished; many species lose their breeding grounds and become extinct, while the few get richer and richer. Our world is controlled by the multinationals, whose sole aim is profit at any price; homelands, flood plains, pasture lands, fishing grounds are confiscated for drilling and mining with disastrous consequences for the poor. Our Politicians are rendered virtuously powerless by the power of these multinationals and world money markets.

While we deplore the state of the world, nonetheless we are conscious of the same selfish drives in our own hearts and minds. We do not want them; we try to resist them but human weakness so often prevails. Should we be depressed?

Having prayed through the season of Lent and participated in the Holy Week Services, imbibed the richness of the Scriptures this would be a most inappropriate response. So what is our way forward?
The answer is those supernatural virtues of Faith, Hope and Love

“My God I believe in you and all your Church does teach, because you have said it and your word is true.”

  I believe in God Father, Son and Spirit. I believe in the Scriptures and in the teaching Church. I believe that everything God made is ‘Good.’ It is human weaknesses that sully and defile the works of God. Our human problem is, I think, that we are 'time bound' we live second by second but God is eternal and operates in the 'eternal now.' Christ’s work has not failed. We cannot yet fully understand his ways but we have faith in him trust in him and we love him.

Yes, it grieves us deeply when we watch on TV the suffering caused by war, violence and natural disasters. Does it help to remember St. Peter's words that in God's eyes “a thousand years is like yesterday a moment come and gone?”
2 Peter 3:8

This moves us forward to reflect on the virtue of Hope or trust.

My God, I hope in you for Grace and for Glory because of your Promises your Mercy and your power.

Perhaps this is the most difficult of the virtues. When things go wrong for us or others we know, we have a tendency to blame God. Why did he let that happen we ask? Why do bad people prosper? Why do the selfish and greedy do well the dishonest never get caught? These are not easy questions for us. I suppose we have to take the long view. Life is short, though it may not always feel so but it is only a temporary space. The best is yet to come. Glory is to be in the presence of God. This is the promise:

“eye has not seen nor ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive what God has prepared for those who love him”
1 Cor 2:9

We hope and trust in the mercy and goodness of God. This is a promise for all who believe in goodness. It reminds us of God’s Universal Mercy.
The act of Hope and trust leads us into the third Supernatural virtue of Love.

My God because you are so good I love you with all my heart and for your sake I love my neighbour as myself.

God is good and whoever does good to others will be rewarded. I believe there is far more goodness and love in our world than evil. Goodness rarely gets the acknowledgement or publicity that is afforded to evil, violence and cruelty. We remember Christ’s words

“Whatever you do to the least of these that you do unto me” Mt 24:40

Yes God is Good. He loves everything and every person he has created. He cannot be ultimately defeated. He returned from earth to heaven after he had paid the price for all the evil we humans have perpetrated. His great desire is that we turn to him in faith and hope and love. He waits to welcome us home to heaven. Alleluia!
Sr. Camilla
Acknowledgements:  image 'Praise' Sr. Mary Stephen CRSS & McCrimmon Publishing co Ltd