Part 1: Easter Sunday: The Stories Begin…!
Happy Easter! Welcome to St. Raphael, especially if you are visiting or new to our church. We’re so glad you came to celebrate Easter Sunday with us! This article will be the first of a series that I’ll do for each week of the 50 days of the Easter Season this year. You can find the bulletin each week at https://saintraphael.org.
Stories. That’s what we dive into……. in the Scriptures in Easter time. Amazing stories of people who witnessed the shocking, life-changing, world-shaking, joy-infusing reality of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. We hear stories about Mary Magdalene, Peter and John, the disciples going to Emmaus, the disciples out fishing, Thomas, whole big groups of disciples… We hear their stories of how they encountered the risen Jesus – often when they least expected it, or most needed it, or both – and how their lives were changed forever because of that encounter and the relationship with him that followed.
Later in the Scriptures, especially in the Acts of the Apostles, we hear even more stories. Of people who encountered the risen Jesus after his Ascension, in various ways, and also the power of the Holy Spirit he had promised to send. The most famous of these stories is from Paul – who encountered the risen Jesus even as he was persecuting Jesus’ disciples. For Paul too: shocking, life-changing, world-shaking, joy-infusing…
Those encounters continue today. The Easter stories in Scripture are just the beginning of the Easter stories that Christians have told down the millennia and still tell today: of how they have encountered the risen Jesus, and had their lives changed forever. In the weeks that follow we’ll hear some of those stories.
What’s your Easter story? How have you encountered Jesus, risen and alive and active in your life? If you’re not sure how to answer, it’s okay! Maybe you’ve met him but you’re not sure how to name it and tell the story. Maybe you’ve not really encountered him personally, but you’d like to ask him to arrange for a meeting… Maybe you do have a story and you need to be reminded of it. Wherever you’re coming from, hopefully the stories of others – from the days of Scripture to the days of social media – will help you find the Easter stories Jesus is offering you.
Stay tuned, and Happy (just beginning of the) Easter (season)!
Fr. Phil Hurley, S.J.