Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen! Let Ciaphas and Pilate Rage and Threaten: He Still Reigns!

I just got back from Church and it was a terrific service of joy, hope and triumph. Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed!

When I went down to breakfast this morning I made the mistake of looking at the morning paper. The Toronto Star chose to celebrate Easter Sunday by splashing stories and headlines about the Catholic child abuse scandal all over the front page and on several pages inside. The Star had called all 225 Catholic parishes in the GTA during the past week asking for copies of the priest's Easter Sunday homilies and then criticized the Church for not devoting the Easter Sunday celebrations to the child abuse story the media has been in a feeding frenzy over during the past week. What is next? Ritual humiliations of priests in the streets? Physical attacks on Churches? Will the violence of the French Revolution come again? The hostility to Christianity was not even disguised; it was so obviously a hate fest that it may have sickened many people, even those not otherwise favorably disposed to the Church.

Imagine if the Star did something similar on Ramadan demanding that every Inman talk about suicide bombing and apologize for 9/11. Imagine front page headlines implicating all of Islam for the actions of Al-Qaeda? Can you picture it happening? No, neither can I. The Star is too cowardly to do that. But it is safe to pick on Christians because it is well known that there is no danger of Christian terrorists putting out a contract on the Editor or setting off bombs at the Toronto Star building. They are essentially bullies who only pick on those who don't fight back.

Anyway, it made Easter have a more authentic feel than ever. The first disciples in Jerusalem that first Easter Sunday were huddled in an upper room with the doors locked. The religious and political authorities were on high alert and believers were in danger. Then Jesus rose from the dead! And the ragtag group of disciples grew into a movement and eventually a Church and eventually a world-wide religion that continues to grow today as people continue to meet the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

We have been blessed to have politicians who did not persecute us for a long while. But now we are entering a new phase of the Church's existence, one characterized by persecution. Jesus warned us that it would be so and He does not call us to anything he himself not only endured - but triumphed over! That is what we remember especially on Easter and indeed on every Resurrection Day week by week.

No comments: