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Mission Moment

Brother Thomas Puccio, CFX, Ed. D., H'18

Mission Moment

April 11, 2021

Mission Moment

The Unsettling Message of Easter

Mr. Bob McCarthy, our Advancement Director, reads a lot. He often passes along to me interesting articles that catch his eye.  A recent one from the Vatican News was written by a Cardinal whose title is “Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Human Integral Development.”  I was amused.  I may have seen the word “dicastery” twice in my life (it means “court” or “organization,” “a department of the Roman Curia”), and the whole title conjures up for me an image of a fusty old Church mired and entrenched in hierarchy and bureaucracy   I myself have been reading Sister Helen Prejean’s new book River of Fire, which traces her life-journey toward social activism – her pre-Dead Man Walking days.  A group of MC colleagues were fortunate to meet virtually this week with Sister Helen for a “book talk”! The book also expresses her experience of the joy, the exhilaration of the Church’s “opening of windows” mid-1960s with Vatican II reforms. (I hope those reforms have hit the Dicastery!)  Anyway, I thanked Bob and suggested that a new title for him might be Director of the MC Dicastery for Advancement.  I can never remember his full title – it’s long -- and changes annually! 

I did not read the dicastery article!  But I did read another he had sent along: “The Unsettling Power of the Easter Story,” a New York Times opinion piece by Esau McCaulley.  (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/opinion/easter-celebration.html )

McCaulley, a black man, hearkens back to his vibrant Southern boyhood experiences of Easter and then shares his more adult understanding of the occasion.  He invites us to consider the meaning of Easter and asks us to think about “the disturbing prospect that God is with us.”   I thought that a provocative phrasing.   I liked the article and shared it with the girls in my Grade 9 Theology class, asking them for their slant on what might be “disturbing” about the thought that …    

 

…  God is with us.  They had some good insights!

Anne said, “If God is with us, it forces us to find hope and actually change…. it is scary to believe in everlasting love and forgiveness, because others might think we are fools.”

Orla explained: “It dares us to dream of a land where most of the time this kind of hope isn’t encouraged. It’s hard to live your life in perfect faith, never straying from God and choosing to believe in him 100%. If God is with us, then we need to dedicate ourselves and our love to him.”

 

For Louise, “God is always present and watching; therefore, we need integrity at all times, even when sin is inevitable.”

And Victoria thought, “It is disturbing because the same God that created us calls us to the horrifying world filled with racism and hatred. God calls us to hope and to fix a world that’s so desperately in need of healing.”

 

Not bad insights!  Easter places a responsibility on us: to figure out what to do with hope.  It dares us to hope for new beginnings and renewal and to risk looking like fools for nurturing such hope for compassion and forgiveness in a world staggeringly unkind.  But more than that, it challenges us to put hope to work.  To love!  Jesus left a lot of work for his followers!   Fortunately, Easter is more than a day: it’s a season that extends 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday.  More than that, though, our call from God is to make Easter a lifetime.  Happy Easter!

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