By Carol Younger
Easter’s here! You’d think that the world would just open like Jesus’ tomb, the world would come to believe, and real peace would break out everywhere! I mean, women ran back to tell the Apostles about the angels; why wasn’t the whole world on board with salvation, redemption and all?
Well, maybe because good news doesn’t sell when cost is attached. Salvation’s catch: participation. Conversion of hearts, not just believing one man died for the people, then rose alive.
Severe persecution breaks out in Jerusalem. Stephen is martyred; Saul is searching house to house crushing Christians. Apostles and Christians scatter, and Philip goes to Samaria. His heart converted, he preaches Christ. Samaritans convert! Sounds just like today! Some persecute, some convert, all over the world.
The Choices of Easter
Easter presents choice: faith and conversion, living the kingdom in an unconverted world to convert the world – or not… Who would have thought? All hearts need conversion, mine included.
So I ask myself: Where can I cast out from my life the paralysis and handicaps (Acts 8:7) due to lack of action? How can I remove “little” sins? How do I convert myself to Christ, thus converting others? In a single question, what must I do to preserve the joy of Easter?
Answers are all in today’s Psalm: Sing praise, worship, continue to rejoice by living and proclaiming Christ in my newly-converted Easter participation lifestyle. Whatever I did for Lent, before Easter, that I must continue. I chose, at some cost, to get to Mass during the week more often.
Living the Easter Life
If I wish continuing conversion to the Bread of Life, which Jesus proclaims in today’s Gospel, I must continue that public witness. What did I sacrifice for holiness in Lent? That very thing I must continue in the Easter life I’m living. How about a single, monthly Friday abstinence?
Slowly, relentlessly, believing Jesus “should not lose anything” (John 6:39) of what the Father gave Him, I can convert, choose salvation as a lifestyle. Today, those … scattered went about preaching the word (Acts 8:4). If I choose to preach and participate in the world’s salvation, I must live a holy lifestyle.
And, I can’t do it alone. I need your prayers; you need mine. Let us pray for one another. Isolated, we’re paralyzed. Together, even just two or three, Christ is among us. Help me. I promise to help you. Continue rejoicing; let’s pray together (Psalm 66:4-5):
Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
About the author:
Dr. Carol Younger – A Senior Fellow for the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, Advisory Board Member for the Great Adventure Bible Studies, author of Listening and Study Guides for biblical and theological presentations through St. Joseph Communications, author of the Retreat Companion for 33 Days to Morning Glory through Marian Press. An accomplished leader in public and private education and a popular adjunct professor at an evangelical Christian university in Southern California. Active in many parish ministries, including RCIA and Catechetical training.