Five Ways to Live the Resurrection
Guest blogger "Fr. Bill" Byrne, Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts.
The empty tomb is the most wonderful discovery in all of human history. The cross of Good Friday was not the end of the story; it was just the beginning. Jesus showed us the depth of His love on Calvary, but in His resurrection he showed us how that love extends through history and eternity. The Resurrection is not just an event, it’s actually a way of living.
Easter sets our eyes on heaven and reminds us that we get there by bringing heaven to earth. To help in this endeavor I offer five ways to live the Resurrection.
Keep the Tomb Empty –Each of us has crosses to bear, but we cannot let life be one long Good Friday. We have to turn those crosses into resurrection. We share in the dying of Jesus so as to share in His resurrection. We should enter the tomb with Jesus only with the intention of leaving the tomb with the Risen Lord. The crosses can either be blessing or a cause of bitterness. The choice is ours to keep the tomb empty by being a people who did not get stuck on Good Friday.
Res-Colored Glasses – You have heard of rose-colored glasses, I have got something better Res, as in Resurrection, colored glasses. Rose-colored glasses help us look on the bright side of things. Res-colored glasses help us notice the blessed side of things. Don’t finish or start a day without naming the blessing and asking Christ to help you make those graces grow in your life.
Stress Free – Life is filled with challenges. We can either greet those challenges with dread and complaints, or we can see in them opportunities to grow in faith, hope and love. With your Res-colored glasses on, you start to realize that you’re too blessed to be stressed. The key to this way of living the resurrection is prayer. When life starts to feel hard, don’t just stand up to the challenge, kneel down too!
Love Wins - Hatred seemed to win as Jesus breathed His last breath on the cross, but Easter proved that His love and life will always win. Jesus will always win. Individually, we may or may not be able to affect global change, but we can make a difference in our families, our communities and our parish by intentionally living the resurrection, by choosing life and love. Make a pact to stop bad gossip or critical words. When people meet you and me, they should leave feeling the life and love of the Risen Christ.
No Regrets – When I imagine what hell must be like, I think it must include an eternity of regret. “Why didn’t I? I should have…” Yikes, that would not be pleasant. Living the resurrection means seeking a life of no regrets. I am not talking about skydiving. The real challenge is not jumping from the sky to the ground but leaping from earth to heaven. Be quick with “I’m sorry’s” and generous with “I love you’s” and never forget to say “Thanks!”
Catholic Standard – March 21, 2015
Bishop William Byrne