Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Jesus, The Strong Man
- March 7, 2013
Why were the scribes and Pharisees so hostile to what Jesus did? Largely because he didn’t fit in with their assumptions. For them, religion was a matter of show and pretence, not of the compassionate heart. Jesus saw through them.
The Pharisees were annoyed that he helped the poor and ordinary folk so easily, but refused to concede them the spectacular sign they wanted.
Jesus bolsters his arguments with a peculiar metaphor. The world is in the thrall of the evil one, he says, just like an armed man who keeps watch over his house and property. But supposing one even stronger attacks him and takes possession of his house? Jesus says “I am that one even stronger and when I exorcize demons from the bodies of the sick, it shows that the reign of God is now present among you, bringing relationships of justice, compassion, generosity and good health.”
The metaphor continues: there’s no sense in expelling the demon from one’s soul, if the spirit of holiness doesn’t take its place. It’s like a well-furnished house – neat, clean, but empty. It almost begs to be broken into and occupied.
So too, a man’s soul. After the soul has been cleansed of its ways of sin, God’s spirit must be present and active in it. It can’t remain empty, without purpose, for long. It’s only the good spirit of Jesus, the Strong One of God, who has the force to keep us from being dominated by the evil one.
So here’s a point to ponder: is my soul like that? Neat and clean, but empty?