Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Isn't Over! A Blog Project Inspired by "The Practicing Catholic"

The eggs may be collected and the leftovers in the fridge, but Easter is not over. It has just begun. While the stores are probably getting ready for the 4th of July, we as an Easter people should be continuing our joyful celebration of Christ's resurrection and preparing ourselves for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We should be taking seriously our call to be an Easter people, to live the mission that Christ has given us - heal the sick, give comfort to the mourning, go out and make disciples. Instead, for many of us, we are rejoicing that our Lenten sacrifice is over - bring on the chocolate, soda, coffee, television [insert Lenten sacrifice here]. This is not what maturity in the Christian faith is about!

Jesus did not pour out his blood on the cross and then rise again from the dead for us to go back to living life as usual. As a Christian, there is no "life as usual." We are called to live in the Spirit. We are told that we will perform greater miracles than He! That doesn't come from "life as usual." It comes from taking risks. It comes from calling on His name and His power. It comes from putting ourselves with those who need Him the most, some of whom make us uncomfortable. Most of all, it comes from allowing ourselves to be filled with His joy and peace. If people look at us as Christians and cannot see a notable difference from the rest of the world, then what good is it to believe? Why would someone want to follow Christ if it makes no difference in their ordinary lives?

We've been watching The Bible mini-series on the History channel. While I will admit that I wasn't head over heels in love with it, I do appreciate what it has done. It has taken the story to the masses as a real and living part of our history. There may be those who tuned in who have never heard the full story before. What it did for me in the finale, was remind me that the story doesn't actually END with the resurrection. The story continues through the centuries starting with the first Apostles leading directly to us in this moment. We, right now, today, are part of the story of salvation. We, right now, today, can bring the power of Jesus into someone's life. That doesn't come by putting away the Easter decorations and getting ready for summer.

I continue to reflect on our experience at the Charism school and Miracle Healing Service that we attended a few weeks ago. This morning, I was wondering if we were perhaps too tepid in our faith for God to pour out his healing in greater numbers. I confessed before that I am a bit of a skeptic given the theatrics we've seen on television with "healers." I was completely convicted this morning that it is my unbelief that keeps me from witnessing greater miracles. It is my own skepticism that keep the Holy Spirit at bay. At Calvary, there were two theives on either side of Jesus. One challenged him to show his works. The other humbly asked to be brought into the kingdom. Too often I am the one challenging Him, and then asking to be brought into the kingdom. Yet this is the season of miracles! This is the season of continuing to grow in our understanding of the mysteries we have just witnessed and preparing ourselves to share them with the world...to the ends of the earth!

Lisa Schmidt over at "The Practicing Catholic" has taken on an Easter challenge that combines a creative writing exercise with the call to continue our Easter celebration. Called "Blogging from A to Z," the challenge is to write a post using the alphabet as our guide to work our way through Easter. She beautifully catechizes with her post "A is for Alleluia." I think this is an excellent challenge for us all, so much so that I'm going to attempt to take up the banner with her. Though our key words may some days be the same (for instance, A really is for alleluia), I'm fairly certain the Holy Spirit will use us quite differently given our unique charisms. I'm going to try to keep up, and would love for you to join me!! Let us sing our Easter song all over the blogosphere!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts! Rest assured I do read each and every word, but please forgive me if I don't get back to you right away. The toddler tugging on my leg and the one year old pulling my hair may have seized control of my typing abilities. Blessings on your day!