Things Above from Fr. Bilot

April 18, 2021

Since the celebration of Easter, and actually, throughout our lives, as Catholic Christians we live in the promise of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ, our God, did not rise from the dead then our Church, our hope for eternal life would not be a reality. The great mystery of God becoming man, just to die for us, is mind-boggling. Yet the Resurrection of Jesus is a beautiful reality and part of the mystery of God’s wonderful love for us.

God’s love is so intense that He became a man for us, so that we would have the heroic model on how to live and how to deal with evil. Jesus’ suffering ultimately confronted the consequence of sin and death itself.

Our toxic culture hounds us with false hope through self-serving and self-help jargon. Is all of this really helpful? Why are we putting others down because of their inadequacies and judging from a heart that cannot confront its own inadequacies and wounds? This only moves our hearts farther and farther away from the source of life and truth itself:  Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, if we live in the promise of the Resurrection, we are living in the freedom Jesus won for us. To live in the promise of the Resurrection we admit and recognize that we were created by God the Father in love, for love. We desire to belong to the Father because He cares for us.  He loved us into existence here on earth, so as to love us into eternal life. To live resurrected freedom means that God is first in our lives. Excuses for not receiving the Eucharist, celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and engaging in the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are just that…excuses. In humility, if we acknowledge our self-effacement, we are no longer bound by the “evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls” (from the St. Michael Archangel prayer.)  Living in the promise of the Resurrection allows us to admit that we have someone in our lives, Jesus Christ, who has the power to overcome our evil tendencies, suffering and death. Jesus can see us through the trials of life if we surrender to His promise and give up our desire for a power that has no power to make our lives what we think it should be. Only in the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection do we realize where we receive the promise to transform our lives.

To live in the promise of the Resurrection is to be proud of our Catholic faith and teachings. We are getting slammed because of the scandals and its evil repercussions. People are confused by the voices out there against the Church. We must fight this evil by going to the source of life and truth itself, which flows through the promise of Jesus’ Resurrection. We must look to the teachings in the Catechism and to the works of the saints for truth and freedom. Jesus instituted the Church through broken men, like St. Peter. Jesus knows that His promise can transform our fallen humanity, even within the Church. We get criticized for our “archaic rituals”. The Sacraments, given through ritual, are about Jesus and His promise within us.

As we continue to embark on the Easter journey, may we embrace the promise of Jesus’ Resurrection. And the promise? To be with us always until the end of the age. The promise? Jesus conquered sin and death. If we are victorious, we hold fast to Jesus’ promise and not the allure or promise that the Evil one offers.

The promise of the Resurrection is a brutal scourging and a painful death to show us how much love can overcome the worst of humanity. Jesus did this all for us. He did this for you and me! That is one awesome promise. Life with Jesus through the Sacraments steers us into the gates of heaven itself!

A Joyous Easter time to all.

Fr. Jim