“Christ is Risen, Alleluia!
The Lord is Risen indeed, Alleluia!”
That’s the way we greet one another throughout The Great Fifty Days of Easter. It reflects our joy in the Resurrection of Jesus and his appearances among his followers. He calls Mary Magdalene by name, he bestows his peace in an Upper Room, he breaks bread with two companions at an inn in Emmaus, and he prepares breakfast for the disciples, weary from a long night of fishing. In all these encounters there is a greeting and a recognition that it is the Lord who is among them. There is a message and a commissioning.
In the Eucharist, Christ likewise gathers and greets us. He makes himself known in the opening of the Scriptures and in the breaking of bread. Having nourished us with his very self he then sends us into the world as ambassadors of his reconciling love and of peace among all people.
Mark’s Gospel concludes with these words: “The disciples went forth and preached everywhere while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.” (Mark 16:20)
I’m intrigued by “the signs.” What were they then? What might they be now? What might they be from the perspective of those who long to see more spirited discipleship, those who strive to deepen our communion one with another in Christ, those who labour for the fuller realization of the Lord’s Prayer, “that they all may be one”.
What might they be from the perspective of those who live in extreme poverty, those who cry for release from their oppressors, those who call for democracy in the governing of their nations, those who weep over our failures to tend creation with greater care and concern for those who come after us?
Pray, dear friends, that with the Risen Lord “working with us” there will be new signs of healing and hope, light and life, justice and joy in all the earth.
The Most Rev. Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate
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