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Pastoral Letter for Easter Season 2024

God’s peace invites us to deal with a broken world.

Fr. Abi John – 4/23/2024

The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples take center stage during the Easter season. The disciples, grappling with their faith, experienced both excitement and doubt. Their faith and reasoning capacities juxtaposed, because of their witness to the brutal killing; Jesus was crucified by the Roman Empire instigated by the religious leadership. The disciples were perplexed, and their dream of a new world was shattered. Distress covered their lives with an uncanny trauma. They became restless and peaceless. Jesus, the resurrected son of God, appeared to them and lingered in the physical world for 40 days to help them grasp the truth and offer them the message of Peace. After Easter Sunday, we also ponder on the resurrection appearances of Jesus to respond to our context with the new power of the resurrected Christ. When our world is broken and shattered, God’s intervention gives us peace to deal with the brokenness. Peace be with you. Alleluia! I would like to unfold certain actions during these post-resurrection appearances.

 1. Conversations - Meaningful encounters occur through conversations. In the Old Testament, when God appeared to Moses in a burning bush, a divine conversation took place about liberation. Likewise, the disciples engaged in dialogue with the resurrected Jesus with his wounds. This was an experience of the early church; the invitation to Thomas to touch the nail mark of Jesus is a powerful interaction of faith and doubt in a genuine way. Such conversations evolved to understand the true meaning of resurrection. These divine conversations made impacts on the confused and confused subjects who were wrestling for various reasons, especially trauma, caused by the death of Jesus. The silenced voices or the voices of the vulnerable evolve as an agency and navigate the uncertainties in life through the method of conversations. This divine act of conversation solidifies their hope in the wounded marks of the resurrected Christ. True democracy fosters dialogue and conversation, authenticating the unity of humankind amidst its diversity to imagine life in total. Post-resurrection appearances urge us to engage in spiritual conversations, addressing the suffering in today's world within our families, churches, and communities. Christ is still suffering when the world suffers. The wounds of Christ invite us to participate in the pain of others. Such spiritual experiences empower us not only to participate in the pain but to realize the redeeming power of God for all. God offers a life of abundance to all in Christ!

 2. Touching - The disciples were urged to see and touch Christ's wounds by Jesus, himself. This was a symbolic invitation to empathize with the pain of victims and the suffering masses. Superego and supremacy have caused the death of millions of innocent lives, making our world a place of terror and violence. Such artificial acts of violence disconnect communities and halt the harmonious coexistence of the entire human world. In the post-resurrection narrative, we witness that touching becomes a profound activity and a symbol of true connectivity. When we touch and connect with the suffering masses, it creates a new imagination to resist odd agencies in life. Every Sunday, touching the sacramental body of Christ reminds us of our commitment to the radical connection with the suffering world which leads to divine liberation for all. The Holy Spirit empowers us to discern God's plan for such a resurrection and liberation, envisioning creative ways to connect broken individuals and transform all lives through radical changes. As we are going to prepare to celebrate Pentecost, let us wait for the Holy Spirit to engage our divine touch with the suffering world.

3. Eating and Dining Together: Every meal is an opportunity for sharing and a vital sign for a healthy society. Refusal to share symbolizes a self-centered world, where human nature manipulates genuine operations and exacerbates scarcity. Abundance is misunderstood in the material world, contradicting the belief that the world and all that is in it belongs to God. If our God is God of All, then logic does tell us that the resources are given to everyone to share and celebrate life. True communion requires equitable access to life's resources. Post-resurrection experiences prompt us to share resources with the needy to live with Christ. Jesus asked for food, to remind them that wounded people are looking for resources, and it is the divine duty of the faith community to satiate such hunger. We are called to feed the needy and heal the broken with the peace of God. May Almighty God enable us to encounter the revealed Christ in our lives, engaging in conversations, communion, and the acts of divine sharing. Amen.

Abi John+


Church of the Ascension,

Rochester, New York. 

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