Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The Pharisees and Scribes thought they had finally ended the “Jesus problem.” He had been executed and buried; His followers had been dispersed in fear; the crowds had been effectively “brainwashed” — after all they were persuaded to ask for the release of Barabbas rather than Jesus. Things would now be able to return to normalcy with power
and control right where the religious leaders of the time wanted it. If only they knew — it was really only beginning.
The power of evil could not overcome the power of God’s love. Even death was to be overcome through the triumphant, loving power of God — Jesus was raised from the dead and immediately things began to churn: The tomb was empty and His followers were told not to seek the living among the dead. He soon appeared to His disciples and assured them that He was alive, that He would remain with them always! And that He would soon send the Holy Spirit as their advocate, their guide, their inspiration, their courage! Life would never ever be the same.
Those promises of the Risen Lord are meant for us as well! In so many ways the power of evil is everywhere: greed, which has led to the economic collapse; selfishness, which has led to disrespect for human life at all levels, from womb to tomb; lust and desire for power and control, which has led to sexual abuse, especially of children, pornography and a general disregard for the great and beautiful gift of sexuality, both as an expression of conjugal love and cooperation with God’s plan of procreation. The list goes on and on.
However, the dark recesses of evil have been lit up by the brightness of the power of God.
Easter offers us the hope of new life — not only in the world to come — but also right here and now. We must use the promise of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, the presence and activity of the Spirit to cooperate with the Risen Lord and make right and bright those things which tear us down and lead us to darkness. Resurrection and new life demands a response — with God’s help we can overcome evil; we can expect a brighter tomorrow.
May the Risen Lord bring us to a deeper sense of hope and may the Spirit of God strengthen and sustain us!
A happy and Blessed Easter to all.
+Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop, Diocese of Charleston