EASTER – WHO WILL FILL MY EMPTINESS?
Peace be with you, and Happy Easter to you and all whom you love and cherish in your hearts.
I experienced so much joy yesterday evening at the Easter Vigil as I poured water from the side of Christ over the heads of 8 candidates for Baptism.
They received the gift of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation and Jesus in Holy Communion. I told them that Jesus and the Holy Spirit would be with them for all eternity, as they are with us. I told them to stay close to Jesus in Holy Communion every Sunday. That is true for us who made the same commitment to Jesus, perhaps many years ago.
I told them to look for opportunities to allow the Holy Spirit to help them love people who need them, family and friends. I think of people who need our help and need Jesus like the empty tomb Mary Magdeline, Peter, and John saw when they looked in. Let me explain.
The empty tomb is all around us. I think of the emptiness of the widow and widower who just lost a spouse. I think of the poor who open the cupboard and the fridge and have nothing to feed the family. I think of the immigrant who comes here from Ukraine, running away from utter terror. Where do they start? They can’t speak the language and have nothing in their pocket to get something to eat. I think of their emptiness.
I think of the neglected child and the single parent whose heart is empty but must keep struggling to care for their children. I think of the people we serve at Pinellas Hope, in Venezuela, and through the Catholic Ministry Appeal. Who runs with Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John to these empty tombs?
Of course, you and I are running with Mary Magdeline, Peter and John. We have no fear of going down into those empty places in ourselves and others. The Risen Jesus, the victor over everyone’s death, is waiting to rise from our nothingness, failures, dead ends, and empty hearts and cupboards. We must run into that empty tomb of people we know. If we don’t, there may never be a resurrection for them. What about us? Strange enough, when they rise, so do we!!! Alleluia! The Lord has truly risen, AND WE KNOW IT!
All that was left in the empty tomb of Jesus was the wrappings they buried the body of Jesus. When we look into the empty tombs of people we serve, please God, all that we will see are memories to be forgotten. No more empty cupboards.
Peace be with you.
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC