Editor’s note: The following is a Lenten reflection submitted by Holy Union Sister Adrienne DeChamplain, Ph.D., a resident of The Landmark in Fall River, who celebrated 75 years as a religious Sister last August.
The world seems to be waiting for a message of hope and truth. The word will be heard only when we have learned to listen to Someone Who is Divinely in love with us. In peace and silence, let us listen to the Risen Lord in the stillness of this glorious Easter morn. Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening:
“My child, you’re familiar with the details of My days on earth: the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter, the scourging at the pillar, the cruel crowning of thorns, the carrying of the cross, My death and Resurrection. Every year you read and hear the account of My Passion. Does it really touch you for a few moments and then leave you until another year? What does matter is that you want to follow Me all the way to your Salvation. To imitate Me means to live in Me, to be open to My living Spirit and to do what is right and just day-by-day. Someday you’ll understand more fully when I send My Holy Spirit to you. Then you will remember that I was the One Who taught you to walk. I took you in My arms; I was like someone who lifts an infant close to his cheek, and stooping down to you I gave you My food.
“My disciple, you are missing the point if you do not recognize the meaning behind the washing of My Apostles’ feet on Holy Thursday. I gave you an example of service and love. I meant it when I said you ought to wash one another’s feet. As I have loved you, you also must love one another and by this will all know that you are My disciple. Take and eat the Living Bread in My Sacrament of unity which will bring the much desired peace and love in today’s sad and bleeding world.
“My people, what have I done to you? I loved you to the very end. Greater love than this, no one has laid down His life for His friends. On the cross, I was thinking of you personally and collectively as people. I could see every one of you down through the centuries. Your love gave Me strength and courage. It was a cause of joy to Me when I felt so very lonely that first Good Friday. I knew that all was not in vain; many would love Me in return — ‘It is finished!’ —yes, you were worth dying for! Remember, there’s more to you than any occasional moment of weakness. However, do not make the mistake of over-emphasizing My death. Be more aware of My life and Resurrection, for My tomb has already become death’s burial place.
“My faithful one, the Church is rightly joyful on Holy Saturday of My victory over evil and in anticipating My reentry into glory for all eternity. I am the Prince of Peace and anything that disturbs your peace is not from Me. When the time comes for you to renew your baptismal promises, make sure to exorcise yourself of your own evil tendencies so that you can be free — oh, so free — to run into My arms.
“My brothers and sisters, I’ve Risen on Easter morning, as I said I would, that you may truly rise with Me. I sympathize with your sufferings: I hear your sobs; I see your tears; I understand all your sorrows; I know your worries and your cares. The words, ‘You’re looking for Jesus of Nazareth,’ apply to you today as well as to the women at the tomb. To seek Me is all that matters in life. But you would not be able to seek Me if you had not already found Me in some way. Oh yes, it is true — the tomb is empty. For if My Apostles had simply found a body, even My dead Body, the seeking would have ended. You won’t find Me among the dead but among the living.
“And remember that the ‘how’ of my Resurrection is not so much as the ‘why.’ I have Risen so that I can satisfy your seeking because I know you’re thirsting for the One Living God. My Father adopted you as My brothers and sisters, making you joint-heirs with Me. It took My Blood for your ransom.
“My other self, My glorified Body is no longer bound by the limits of time and space. I can communicate with you at any time and I can be with you wherever you are, especially through the Eucharist. So, come to Me, all you who are burdened and I will refresh you. I do not promise to eradicate all blindness and deafness, crisis and paralysis, hatred and jealousy from your present earthly life. My message is not only physical but essentially Spiritual. You must have faith in Me that you’ll overcome Spiritual blindness and deafness by accepting My Gospel of sharing and forgiving. You must trust Me so completely that you will not let any crisis paralyze you by fear and anxiety. You must love so intensely that you’d even be ready to lay down your life if necessary for your companions on this journey of life.
“My special friend, you must grow in faith, hope and charity because I am depending on your support to put an end to all that is heartless and inhuman in this confused and restless world. Now you can see that the celebration of Easter is a challenge. You’ve got to be convinced that your Spiritual growth in this life and the healing of a hurting society depend to some extent on your ability to participate in the Easter Mystery. But, peace to you, fear not. I am with you all days, even to the end of time. You are precious in My eyes and I love you. Remember not the past, the things of long ago, consider not. See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
“I am your hope and your truth because I am your life and your resurrection.”