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He is Risen!
Sunday, April 24 2011

The Celebration of Easter

Christ is risen!  As we celebrate the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday) as part of Holy Week, we have been immersed in the very core of our faith.  On Holy Thursday, Christ shared with us the Last Supper, the basis for the Eucharist and a way for us to connect with Christ more fully.  On Good Friday, Christ gave His life so that ours might be saved.  His ultimate sacrifice frees us from the bondage of our sins.  Finally, on Easter Sunday, Christ conquers death and lays the foundation for His new kingdom, the Christian Church.  Old Testament prophets spoke of a Messiah that would come to save the world;  Jesus was that Messiah.

Shortly after His resurrection, Jesus visited His disciples.

"He said to them, 'These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.'

Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.  And he said to them, 'Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'"  -Luke 24:44-47, NAB

He opened their minds to the Scriptures.  Even the disciples of Christ had a hard time grasping all that had happened, just as it is tough for us to grasp all that He has done for us.  Fulfilling the prophecies, Christ gave Himself freely so that our sins would be forgiven.  It is a forgiveness that is available to anyone willing to repent.  One of my favorite Scriptures comes from Christ's last moments on the cross.  Next to Jesus, two other men were being crucified for what they had done.  One man mocked Jesus; the other man saw Jesus for who He was and said,

"'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'  He (Jesus) replied, 'Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.'" -Luke 23:43-44, NAB

Even in his last moments, this man turned his life over to Christ, and Jesus showed His ultimate grace.  Christ's love is available to everyone.  It does not matter what you've done or where you've come from; He wants you to come home.  Give your life to God.  Accept His forgiveness.  Share in His grace.  It is not a one-time deal, but something that you can take with you for the rest of your life.  Each and every day, we must give ourselves to God.  In return, each and every day, He will share with you His unfailing love, unbending strength, and unending grace.  Will you give your life to God?

Congratulations to all of those who completed the RCIA process!  May God bless you on your journey!

 

What's Next?

For the next few weeks, we will be looking at the 40 days Christ spent on Earth after His resurrection and before His ascension to heaven.  Then, that will lead us directly into Pentecost.  Some great material coming up!

 

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