Sunday of the Resurrection
An Easter Message
That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear … Acts 10
When Bishop Festo Kivengere of Uganda visited our parish in the 1970s, each Sunday school kid received a button that read, “I wish you Joy in the Lord.” These were the days of Idi Amin when one would have thought Joy in short supply.
I remembered this when I went through Zimbabwe to Zambia in 2004. Political oppression, famine, and AIDS were in abundance. Yet again in orphanages and elderly camps, I found JOY in abundance, too.
Joy does not exist in Africa or dire conditions, only. It began in an empty tomb or in the passage above, in which Peter preaches to Cornelius about the fulfillment of God’s prophetic word.
Joy is Easter resurrection wherever it is realized. It is rooted in the Scripture and is ineffably present in the Sacraments. In fact, the reaction to Peter’s words is baptism.
I wish you Joy in the Lord. Recognize that where the Word is, joy resides therein.
Alleluia! The Lord is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Fr. William H. Marchl
Priest Associate, St. Andrew's Church