By: Thomas Mooney, UF Student
God created His greatest creature, the human, and placed it in a garden of peace and serenity. Satan saw this and devised a plan to turn the creation that loved God into one that would fight Him. Man drank the ever-enticing poison of sin and suffered. However, God promised us an antidote, a cure for our failure, so that we might one day be reunited with Him, cured of the sin which rots the flesh and the soul. For many years, man struggled with this sin, turning to God and turning away from Him. Many times, it looked as if God had abandoned them and, many times, they abandoned their God. Yet, man held hope for that cure which would be sent by God.
Then one day, the powerful cure came, the conqueror that would vanquish sin arrived! The people were confused though. They had envisioned a magnificent warlord, a mighty warrior and King. Instead, the Son of God was a poor carpenter from Nazareth. As soon as Jesus revealed His nature, people denied and plotted against Him. Satan was at work once again. It was not long before, despite the good deeds and healing that Jesus performed, people were calling for His death. Then, following the Passover feast, Jesus was handed over to be killed. God’s chosen people, His beloved creation, the creatures who once shared in His joy and company, were now beating, torturing and killing His son. Christ was then nailed to a cross, lifted in humiliation and breathed His last. The cure, the Savior, mankind’s last hope hung there, naked, bloody and dead. Satan laughed in the face of God, as the Lord’s plan to win back his people seemed to have failed. For three days, the disciples scattered. For three days, mankind appeared to be on its own.
We arrive upon Easter Sunday. As we see in the Gospel, the disciples were going to care for the deceased body of Jesus to find that it was not there. The Apostles heard of this, saw and believed. Everything Christ had taught was now starting to make sense. Suddenly, Satan’s “greatest victory” quickly became his worst defeat. The antidote had been administered, and mankind could now rejoin God! God, out of love for His creatures, took on flesh for the very purpose of suffering, so He could die for us! These truths of Easter are the crux of our faith, the root of our belief.
We must use the joy of Easter and run, like the Apostles in the Gospel, to our Lord and proclaim our belief. We must fill ourselves with the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ, ridding ourselves of malice and wickedness. However, we must not miss one important line from the first reading:
“He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.”
Yes, that means exactly what you think it means: We must share the Good News, the Easter message! God has entrusted us with the joy and truth, trusting that we would not keep it to ourselves but spread it among all people. We do this by our actions, by living by the law of God out of our love for Him and, equally as important, by speaking of Him. Many people like to resort to the “they will know we follow Christ by our actions” which is good, but we resort to this out of fear, because we are embarrassed or afraid to speak of our belief. Do not be afraid, God is with us! God died and rose for us, and we believe, so let us not waver in proclaiming our belief. So, enjoy this Easter celebration, sing songs of joy and feast on the goodness God has given us. But remember your mission! Remember that today there are people who are not joyful, who are not celebrating, who are not feasting because they have not yet heard the Good News: Christ has died for them, risen again, and they are loved.