Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant hope has begotten us again
into a lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away,
reserved in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1 : 3, 4)
'The great festival of Easter, the queen of festivals, really speaks for itself. After the gloom of Gethsemane and the darkness of Calvary we burst forth into the light of Easter with a shout of triumph. These words from St Peter express our feelings and our joy, joy for realisation that the cross is not the end. Christ is risen! Think what that meant to His Blessed Mother, to St John and the other disciples. To St Peter it was a chance to ask forgiveness for his denial - no wonder he can write such words of blessing and praise for the Resurrection, "begotten us again to a lively hope". There is the secret of the Resurrection. It is the source of the great Christian virtue of hope, which has turned the world and its value inside out, by which a Christian faces the terrific problem of life and death. Take away the Resurrection and we are plunged into the darkness of despair. We can only bear to meditate upon the Cross because we know it is not the end.
Let this Easter fill you anew with joyous hope - hope in God who is alone capable of satisfying the human heart. It is only through lack of hope that we misjudge the ways of God, forgetting that this life is but the smallest portion of life. Real belief in the Resurrection and hope in the Risen Christ give us patient trust and a wider vision; we see that this world is not our true home, and its affairs of only passing importance. Our real home is heaven; the great part of the Church is in heaven and our friends, the saints. Our life in the Church is our foretaste of heaven. We have already entered into our inheritance. Here lies true contentment, heavenly joy and the peace that passes understanding. Here in the Mass the gates of heaven are thrown open and we enter heaven. All this springs from the Resurrection - yes, "Blessed be God".
Raymond Raynes CR, 1903-1958
Fr Lee Kenyon
Priest, Husband, Father, Lancastrian, Mancunian