This week a white oak tree in Lakewood, Ohio, that was about two hundred years old was cut down because it was decaying. However, efforts are being made to keep it alive by grafting parts of it. We are all in favor of keeping things alive. When one of our plants is withering, we feed it fertilizer, water it, and maybe talk or sing to it in hopes of reviving it! We are saddened to hear about species going extinct. Our strongest instinct, humans and animals alike, is self-preservation. God too promotes life. God brings babies into the world every day. Scripture says he is God of the living, not the dead. God went to extreme lengths to preserve our eternal life. During Holy Week we ponder the mystery of Jesus undergoing an excruciating death just so we could live forever with him. On Easter we celebrate that he burst forth from his tomb with new, glorious life. His triumph is our triumph too, for it means that we can trust his promise of new life for us. Someday after we die, we too will rise. All of our family members and friends whom we sorely miss will also come to life. So will all the people from past centuries who we wish we had known—St. Catherine of Siena, St. Don Bosco, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Shakespeare, and so forth.
The same almighty power that called Lazarus out of his tomb and brought the widow’s son and Jairus’s daughter back to life, will reanimate us. However, our life on the other side of death will be different—even better than what we experience now. It will be unimaginable according to St. Paul.
How appropriate that Easter this year falls on April 1, April Fool’s Day. We remember how Jesus pulled a great trick on Satan. By his cross, he vanquished and banished sin and death once and for all. Now we can all look forward to a life beyond the grave, a life of eternal happiness with those we love and those who love us, especially our Creator and our Blessed Mother. That is why we can sing with all our hearts throughout the fifty days of Easter: “Alleluia! Praise God!” As the world awakens this spring from the dead of winter, may the warmth of our life-giving rising sun, the flowers pushing through the soil, and the leaves sprouting on trees all remind us that someday we will have a new beginning, too. A happy, hopefilled Easter!
Who do you look forward to being with in heaven?
One of my favorite Christian songs: Click below, click on the blue letters, and when the song opens, widen to full screen.