Vallombrosa 300x100 12.2017

Walking with hope toward the new risen life

April 3, 2015
Deacon Faiva Po’oi

A few years ago, there was a popular card that carried the greeting, “May you spend the rest of your life walking away from empty tombs.” At first glance, it may seem like an odd message, but on closer examination, we see that it is really a message of powerful significance.

The Gospel tells us that during the days following Christ’s crucifixion and death, the disciples were in a state of despair, grief, and fear. Deep grief can paralyze a person. We are numb. We seem to be in a trance. We become unaware or indifferent to what is going on around us. We do not hear. We do not see. After Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples must have been paralyzed with grief. They had no hope and were very worried about what to do next. As the final sentence in today’s Gospel points out, “As yet they did not understand the Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”

How quickly an empty tomb shakes them from their numbness and listlessness and makes them run! We see the disciples doing the same thing that we do in our lives – looking for life among the dead.

When we anticipate a change that will threaten our future, do we experience fear? Are we anxious about the heavy burdens before us? Are despair, cynicism, anxiety, and fear about the future imprisoning us in old tombs? In this Easter season of hope, we are provided with an opportunity to reexamine those tendencies and become a witness to the risen Lord.

Listen to the words of Peter in the second reading. Do you hear his passion? Can you sense his courage? Is this the same Peter who only days before could not even admit to a young girl that he knew Jesus? Well yes, and no. This is the same person, but it is a different Peter. We meet a Peter who has been transformed by the appearance of the risen Lord. He is no longer paralyzed by his failings because the immeasurable forgiveness offered by the risen Lord has released him to serve again!

Today it is here, in you and me, where Jesus has risen. He is alive in his church. With all her faults, the church is God’s salt and light in our world. The feast of Easter beckons us to allow the risen Christ to rise in our lives so that we, too, can become salt and light and a source of hope and love for others. Easter summons us to spend the rest our lives walking away from the empty tombs of death, despair, anxiety and fear. We must roll up our sleeves and walk courageously among the living. We must speak and act boldly about the “good news” because we have been redeemed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We can sing and shout with joy, “Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”

Easter calls us to reach out for the extended hand of the Holy One and the comforting embrace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This new life and dignity is not something that can be measured, calculated or grasped. It is freely given to us by the One who has loved us from the beginning of time. This Easter, may the body and blood of the Risen Lord help us to walk with hope toward the new risen life. May God go before us to guide our footsteps. May God remain behind us to protect us. May he go beneath us to sustain us, and most importantly, may God go within us to give us eternal life.

Deacon Po’oi serves at St. Timothy Parish, San Mateo.

Irish Help at Home flattened
McCoy's Flattened
Arch SF Development Alternate
Pontifical Mission Society - 230x100
St. Anthony's Foundation - 230x100

Catholic San Francisco
One Peter Yorke Way, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: 415-614-5639    Fax: 415-614-5641
E-Mail Us