My dear friends,
Now the holy rays of the light of Christ shine forth,
The pure stars of the Spirit rise,
The heavenly treasures of glory and divinity lie open
These extraordinary words by Hippolytus, an early theologian, express the Paschal (Easter) mystery which we celebrate on the first day of April. There is something about the fact that the greatest of all Christian festivals falls on ‘All Fools Day’ in 2018 that has something of a lesson to help us in understanding the profound nature of our Easter Joy.
God desires to draw each of us into a greater understanding of his love through his beloved Son who died for us on the cross. Through this action the wisdom of the world is turned upside down. Paul writes in his first Letter to the Corinthians, ‘The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ (1 Cor 1: 18-19)
But the story doesn’t end there. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the sign by which we ourselves live resurrection lives; lives which allow the mysterious call of God to each of us cause the ‘holy rays of Christ to shine forth’ in all that we do.
What does this mean? I believe that there is no area where we should not be making a difference; no part of our contact with people to be anything other than transformative. In seeking to do this, we are called to lay aside ‘self,’ finding true freedom through loving service to the world. Sometimes this will be tough for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes we fail, knowing the darkness which exists in so many situations we hear of or experience. But even the effort of seeking to follow the example of Jesus draws us closer to God.
The heavenly treasures of glory and divinity do indeed lie open to all, as we have the privilege of proclaiming the profound knowledge of God’s love revealed by Jesus Christ through death and resurrection.
A very happy and blessed Easter