Published on April 17, 2017
Dear Parishioners and Friends of the Sandusky Catholic Community,
There  is  an  image  from  Madeline  L’Engle’s   A  Wrinkle  in Time.    It   is   the   image  of   the  globe  sheathed  in  darkness, but  every  so   often  a  patch  of   light  breaks  through.    It  is
described in the book like patches of new, healed skin emerging on a leper and the healing keeps leading to more healing.
That is what I felt like on the day of my First Communion.  No doubt the disciples felt that way on Easter morning, when the grave that they laid Jesus was empty and Mary Magdalene said that he was risen.  Can you imagine what it must have been like?  All the darkness of Good Friday was gone and they were alive again for He truly had risen.
Of course, they were still afraid.  They huddled in the upper room wondering what they should do.  Christ came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace.”  He was with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus.  He was with them when they were fishing and the disciples realized that this overwhelming experience of God’s love and mercy needed to be shared.  So they started to witness to the Good News boldly, peacefully and powerfully.
As they witnessed there were the typical reactions.  People thought Peter drunk, Mary Magdalene was hysterical and Thomas was skeptical.  When a friend of mine once joined a Stations of the Cross procession in Manhattan, the reactions were priceless.  One young drunk asked what was happening and someone told him, and he said, “It’s a good Friday.”  Another made a big show of saying, “I’m not with those guys.  I have nothing to do with those guys” as the procession passed by.  A young fashionable–looking woman eating in a restaurant put her fork down and turned her head to the window, no doubt mystified by the parade.  Many, though, stopped as the procession went past and smiled with apparent approval.  When they finished the final station, a young man with a fine tenor voice called out, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
That verse is John 1:5.  The darkness did not know what hit it when Christ rose from the dead.  The darkness diminished in lower Manhattan that Good Friday when a procession weaved through the streets of high finance and bowery bums.    The globe, as L’Engle so poetically suggests, is starting to heal.  On Easter morning the sun shines brighter and it shines everywhere.
Easter is not a message but an encounter with the risen Christ.  It is not a memorial of a dead leader, but an event to meet the living Christ as surely as he did the disciples on the first Easter Day.  It is not primarily about bunnies or peeps or Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate eggs, but should be the moment each year to recover the sense of being contemporary with God’s action in Christ.  Calling  us to witness, to proclaim and to live the Gospel.  It has nothing to do with conspiracies or with the agenda of the powerful, but it has to do with those who were powerless and risked their lives for the sake of Christ and His peace.  They chose life and we choose life and we choose to belong to the life giver.
Happy Easter!  Let’s proclaim it from the housetops for He is Risen and it makes all the difference in the world.
In Him,
Fr Joe