St. Anthony Messenger magazine
St. Anthony Messenger

‘We Will See Him’: An Easter Message

April 13, 2022
Issue
Christ resurrected painting | Image in the public domain
These bittersweet times are an opportunity for all of us, changed by the Risen Lord into joyful disciples, to touch the wounds of our weary world with hope, love, and faith in the power of the Resurrection.

It's easy to be convinced of the power of death. Watching the news reports of the war in Ukraine leaves all of us with a feeling of helplessness. Reports of the discovery of mass graves in Bucha of men, women, teenagers and children whose hands were tied behind their backs leave us enraged, but at the same time, feeling helpless, wondering what to do.

Two years of pandemic revealed painful sides of ourselves: our racism, our political divides, our tendency to hoard simple things. We live in a world where death seems to have the upper hand and can feel like the final word. The temptation is simply to live for comfort, to try to cocoon ourselves from death.   

The experience of the early disciples was similar. All they knew on Good Friday was the horror of public torture and the painful execution of the One they were hoping would bring redemption to Israel. They ran to the tomb of the Beloved, only to find it empty, and as John’s Gospel tells us, they did not understand.

Yes, they gathered together, but probably with the feeling of “every person for himself,” our world has been wrecked beyond repair. death won.  


Mark Soehner, OFM, talks about death and the Easter season.

That afternoon, behind fearful locked doors, they were interrupted by Jesus, now luminous, offering His Shalom, showing His wounds, sending them with the breath of the Spirit back into a violent world. They were also changed, transformed, given new courage, speaking across the boundaries of language, race and nation. His love, His forgiveness, His assurance made them joyful, willing to risk all to be witnesses to the Resurrection.

This Easter we, too, will gather with our hopelessness and despair over our world’s tragedies. But if we will allow it, also with all our potential, we will become witnesses to the Resurrection. This is not painting a “fragrant lily, chocolate bunnies, and marshmallow peeps” veneer to our sadness and despair. Rather, it is a time to allow Christ to “Easter in us,” to transform us into joyful missionary disciples. When Christ touches our pain and the pain of the world with His own wounds, we are empowered as agents of change and hope.

I’ve seen it with the friars. Realizing the pain of the homeless during winter, they courageously opened the doors of St. Francis Seraph Church to their care. Other friars heal the wounds of our common home through legislation for the betterment of our environment. The friars of New Orleans helped people whose roofs and walls collapsed during last year’s hurricane.

One friar used his legal skills to resettle Afghan refugees, giving opportunities for self-reliance. And all our Franciscan churches have programs to help those who fall on hard times with food, clothing and utility assistance. They are dispensing hope and new opportunity because of Christ.

These bittersweet times are an opportunity for all of us, changed by the Risen Lord into joyful disciples, to touch the wounds of our weary world with hope, love, and faith in the power of the Resurrection. And, yes, we will see Him, in our well-worn Galilees, in our fraternities, our world.


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Comments

RENE JOSEF BULLECER MD,
Fri, 04/15/2022 - 09:38 PM
RENE JOSEF BULLECER MD,
Dear Fathers, Greetings! Thank you very much for the super inspiring advance Easter Greetings of Fr. Mark! I am a proud parishioner of San Vicente Ferrer Parish which of course is run by the OFM Fathers. I was the original altar boy of the late Rev. Fr. Brice Mulroy, OFM. Now I'm a doctor of medicine and serving the Archdiocese of CEBU as the president of the Catholic Physicians Guild of the Philippines and the Vice President of the National Council of the Laity. Rest assured of my prayers for MORE vocation and graces needed for the OFM Community. Very truly yours, RENE JOSEF C. BULLECER, MD Cebu City, Philippines
Kerry Hennigan
Sat, 04/16/2022 - 03:02 AM
Kerry Hennigan
I love reading about the very practical ways in which the Franciscans are helping those in need, and working to heal our planet. This is very inspiring and in the true spirit of Easter as I see it. Thank you.
Joseph Gusmano
Sat, 04/16/2022 - 09:49 AM
Joseph Gusmano
Wonderful video- focus on death as a way to reorient our life. As a person with an incurable cancer, I've gone through many of the fear and panics the diagnosis brought on in me. But what allows me to accept my death- even if all my hopes and desires are unfulfillable- is observation of my grandchildren and of all children everywhere. Such joy in being alive, such innocence, trust, openness to life, lack of self-consciousness, living in the moment completely, such beautiful smiles and infectious laughter-- if people didn't die we wouldn't have the resources for them to come into existence and experience the joy of being alive. And if our ancestors didn't die, we may never have existed either. Isn't it rather small-minded and selfish to want to live on this earth forever. I am happy to step aside so that future unborn generations can experience what it means to be alive. Of course, I've been lucky- I've had a good life while many have not. But the answer to this is not the endless existence of the same people, but the opportunity for new people to shape their own future and perhaps create a better world.
Rebecca Kahn
Sat, 04/16/2022 - 03:22 PM
Rebecca Kahn
May God continue to bless you and through the intercession of St Joseph grant you a good death.
Fr. Patrick Beck
Sat, 04/16/2022 - 10:32 AM
Fr. Patrick Beck
Great message and indeed Good News. Continue to pray for World Peace, thanks again, Fr. Patrick Beck
Michael Callaghan, CM
Sat, 04/16/2022 - 12:03 PM
Michael Callaghan, CM
You’ve painted a verbal icon of a marvelous, suffering, yet hopeful, world, made possible by our shared faith in the Paschal Mystery: once again, for 2022, and forever: Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again!
Carmen Mendizabal
Sun, 04/17/2022 - 07:23 AM
Carmen Mendizabal
Insightful, powerful and inspirational message. Thank you! God bless you!
Paul Larose
Tue, 04/19/2022 - 11:36 AM
Paul Larose
Hope is looking for light—convinced it is there—in darkness. I think I “borrowed” this insight from Desmond Tutu. As a cancer survivor, I know its power.

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