Once again, it is Easter. Christ was born, he lived, he died and all in preparation for today. He is risen! As Paul tells us, if our faith in this fact is in vain, then we are the most deluded, the most unfortunate of all people, for we have swallowed the biggest lie of all time. But, continues Paul, fear not, for Christ is truly risen, the first born from the dead... In defence of which truth Paul was to witness, like countless others, with his own blood.
Today the risen Lord calls upon each of us to believe in the Good News... In other words, in the gospel, the central truth of which is that because Christ is risen, we are not alone. In life and in death, God is with us. This joyous message is, whether accepted or rejected, the most significant of all truths and is proclaimed and amplified from Bethlehem to Calvary and beyond into eternity. We are not alone! God is with us! We are forever linked to our Father in heaven. He did not create us as disposable beings to be used and discarded like so many products familiar to us all. Through His Son, Jesus, our Saviour, we can be forever saved from the efforts of the powers of evil. This is why we call Jesus our Saviour.
The choice is, however, ours. Our freedom is always respected. Furthermore, those of us who seek to remain united to our Saviour must accept that the saving power of Jesus also unites us to each other. If we Christians recognize God as Father, we must recognize each other as brothers and sisters, sharing in the redemptive power of his Divine Son. Clearly, in this scenario, no one stands alone, none of us is truly independent. We are an integral part of something which is much bigger than ourselves. Consequently, we are not our own personal property. We belong to God and we are responsible to and for each other.
However, popular atheism with which we are constantly bombarded would have us assume that our dignity lies in our individuality, and that our rights as individuals make our bodies equivalent to private property. Something we own. From this popular position logically flows the acceptability of abortion and euthanasia.
Self-sufficiency and autonomy are much admired and valued in our society, and yet were it not for our relationship with others, there would be no society or culture. The fact is that there is nothing which makes any of us stand out as being truly independent. To begin with, we are all the result of two other people, our parents. We have a language and a culture passed on by others and our latent talents are rooted in genetics.
Of course, we have our freedoms and rights, but they are clearly limited by who and what we are and grossly distorted by prevailing MISCONCEPTIONS of who and what we are. Distortions which are slowly being enshrined in our civil law. But that leads us into another subject. For now let us underscore that we are not alone and that we are not our own. And that is good news because it means that we exist because we are loved by God and needed by each other, and that, in the light of The Resurrection, that same Divine love has overcome death which is at the root of all of our fears and all of our concerns.
There is no better way of expressing this fundamental truth than through liturgical worship, particularly through the mass. Let us continue our celebration, united to each other through the risen Christ.