The following is my bulletin column for Easter Sunday.
Dear Friends in Christ,
Many of you that I will greet this Easter morning, I know well, some not so much, and some who are reading this, I know not at all. I do know, however, that you were bought at a price. God loves you so much that He gave His Only-Begotten Son up to death for you. Whether you’ve been faithful to God, faithful to His Gospel, Faithful to His Church, and Faithful to the Sacraments or not, God loves you. He has paid the highest price for you.
When we are weighed down by anguish and suffering, we might think that God has forgotten us. Illness, unemployment, family discord, betrayal, and hosts of other sufferings can perhaps make us feel discouraged. So too, our own sinfulness can convince us that we have no hope of ever living near to God. The Devil uses all of these things to separate us from God. He plants tares in our fields, hoping to discourage us in our Christian life. In a way, his intense effort to destroy us is itself a testimony to the extraordinary love that God has for us. If God did not love us so much, His Enemy would not be taking aim at us.
|The Enemy Sowing Tares|
Today, perhaps there are many people at Mass who, in one way or another, are perplexed by the situation in which they find themselves. Easter Sunday is for you. The announcement of Christ’s Resurrection is not only an announcement of a past event. It is an announcement of a present reality and of a future glory. Christ is defeating sin and death today. He has crushed the serpent’s head and has purchased you at a costly price. So, do not be discouraged. Even if tomorrow you should awake and discover that weeds have been sown among the wheat; even if tomorrow you should sin greatly; even if tomorrow you should experience the pains of illness, the loss of work, or the rupture of relationships; even if an army encamp against you and all out war be waged against you, do not yield to discouragement. Today, Easter Sunday, is the Day of Victory. It is the day of your victory. He has conquered sin and death. He died for you and He rose for you. You don’t have to wait for victory. It has already happened. Don’t let the Devil steal from you the victory that has already been won.
To all who may feel distant from God, to all who feel weighed down by their past, to all who feel the assaults of the Evil One, to all who have awakened to discover that an enemy has sown weeds among your wheat, I wish you a Happy Easter because this New Day and the joy of victory belong to you.
Your Brother in Christ,
Fr. David Barnes