Summoned to Share the Brightness of His Light

Week of March 27, 2016

It is the light that overwhelms, it is the joy that knows no bounds, it is the forgiveness that transforms.  It is the mystery that makes everything new.   This Easter we enter the lifesaving and life-giving experience of God’s love.  His desire to save us and His willingness to sacrifice His only begotten Son upon a cross, finds us overwhelmed this morning as we enter a tomb that is empty, a vision of angels that tells us He is alive and an appearance that confirms all that the angels have told of Him.  This is Easter.  This is the mystery we enter, the joy we proclaim and the gift that is truly from God.  Today we gather around the great symbols of our faith to reassure ourselves that all that was foretold is true and because it is true, we are called to share this truth.  We are called to share this light.  The Easter candle stands tall at the ambo where the Gospel is proclaimed.  It is a light that dispels the darkness.  It is a light that not only illumined a grave, but has burst forth into the world to transform us.  Our sins are forever forgiven.  Divine blood has paid the price for the heaviness of our crimes.

This light we receive, this new life that we have been given is to be shared.  At our celebrations of the Eucharist we have renewed our Baptismal vows.  We have renounced evil and embraced our faith.  The water sprinkled upon us is a reminder of the mission we accept as an Easter people.  This faith is to be lived and in its living we share the light that transforms the world.  We become the messengers.  We are imperfect. We are flawed in every way, yet on Easter the power of God transforms our imperfections and redeems us.

This day we are called to be bearers of this light and we are called to share it with others.  This happens most powerfully for others in the way we most powerfully receive it.  The power of the light is forgiveness.  When we share the power of Easter joy we unshackle the darkness of others.  We share a grace of forgiveness that was won on the cross.  This Easter we are called to share the light.  It is most powerful when it is given away.  The more candles we light in a darkened room the more well-lit it becomes.  The same is true in our Easter proclamation of forgiveness.  Our forgiveness is the most powerful light we share.

For me it is easy to share the light with those who agree with me, love me, and believe in me. Yet the power of this light is to give it to those who need it most, those who do not even know of its transforming power.  How do we extend that light to them?  It is the sending of food to Hesed House and the food pantry of Kendall County. Our light shines there.  It is sharing light with those who do not attend Mass on a regular basis and to refrain from judging them. Our light shines there.  It is forgiving those who have wronged us.   Because of this power and this belief in the transforming love of Easter, this past week I sent a letter to the one imprisoned for the crime of breaking into our church.  For light to be transforming it must be shared.  It has to be given to those who do not even see the need for light.  It was not easy, yet our light needs to be passed on. I am not sure he will accept it and I am not even sure he will read it, yet Easter comes to everyone.  Easter comes with transforming forgiveness.  The one I need to forgive is a prisoner who is imprisoned by his choices.  Finding words of healing and finding forgiveness is transforming.  It was done for us when Jesus rose from the dead.  It is meant to be shared.  This Easter may the power of His light find all of us sharing forgiveness with those most in need of it. The light of Christ has the most power when we share it.  Be the messenger.  Shout from the mountaintops, yet most profoundly share healing forgiveness with those who need it most.  Reach out to the family member who has been given the silent treatment.  Reach out to the one whose political ideologies drive you crazy.  Stand up for the one who is always picked on.  Easter has power when we do the sharing of what Christ has done for us.

Happy Easter,

Rev. John J. Ouper