Taking Easter's call to heart - Catholic Courier
Matthew H. Clark Matthew H. Clark

Taking Easter’s call to heart

The Easter season invites all of us to a renewed appreciation of the life we share in Christ through baptism; and of our call to express that life in our praise and thanksgiving to God and in loving service to our neighbor.

As have you, I have tried to take that call to heart. It has helped to spend time in prayer sitting close to the baptismal font at Sacred Heart Cathedral. That beautiful symbol of new life leads me to prayer about Christ’s total-self gift for our sakes. It reminds me of the love of my parents and their care that I be immersed in new life in the water of baptism. It reminds me of my union through baptism with the rest of the community. Those are special moments for me. They bring strength and consolation. They offer refreshment.

Much as I treasure those special moments of grace, I am mindful that all of us have duties and responsibilities that take us away from the baptismal font (or its equivalent in your life). They draw us into the joys and sorrows, the complexities, the challenges of daily living. Some of those energize us; others can exhaust us. In and through all of it we need to do our best to remember that the Lord is no less present to us in those circumstances than when we are close to the font. Indeed, it is in such daily circumstances that we are called to be salt and light for others.

One of the beautiful blessings of my daily rounds is the privilege of being in the company of people whose Easter faith impels them to the kind of praise, thanksgiving and service that I mentioned above. They work generously and lovingly in a variety of ways. And, in so doing they make real for me the presence and love of the Risen One.

Let me illustrate what I mean by that by naming some of the events on my calendar last week. There were three confirmations. The celebrations always put me in touch with the creative and faithful love of God who continually renews our community with new life.

We had the dedication of the incredible new Food Bank of the Southern Tier operated by Catholic Charities. How can one not be mindful at such moments not only that Christ is our bread of life but that we are to be good bread for others?

A meeting with our campus ministers reminded me of the wonderful young people they serve. They are gifted, intelligent people going through an important time in their lives. Their search for meaning is a wonderful reminder that we are all on the way, unfinished and ever yearning for more.

The commencement of St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry bespoke a desire to understand more deeply the mystery of Christ Risen and to share with others gifts received.

Our annual celebration of ordination jubilees strengthened my spirit in a special way. We share a life experience. I continually draw strength from the way my brother priests move through that experience.

And, in a different way, those who gathered yesterday for our celebration of the Marriage Jubilee Mass spoke to me of sacrificial love, of self-giving, of the challenges and consolation of honest relationships.

I am grateful to God for the Easter gifts offered in the witness of these people who were part of my week. Even as they showed me something new about the Risen Lord, they also reminded me in a healthy way that truly to absorb and appreciate it all I need to return to the font.

Peace to all.

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